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About Michigan Cyber Partners

Michigan Cyber Partners is a collaboration between various divisions at the State of Michigan, including the Department of Technology, Management &Budget (DTMB), the Michigan State Police, local public entities across Michigan, federal agencies, and national non-profits. We work together to strengthen, improve, and promote cybersecurity best practices. Michigan Cyber Partners is part of the State of Michigan’s DTMB division.

Michigan Cyber Partners helps local public entities by vetting, promoting, and teaching best practices in cybersecurity. We help you connect with peers in Michigan who are working on the same issues as well as connect you with state and national partners who are dedicated to the mission of cybersecurity protection of state, local, tribal, and territorial entities.

Michigan Cyber Partners brings local public entities together with regular communication, including a monthly online meeting for public sector entities. Join us! Membership is free to local public entities in Michigan.

Our focus is on helping local public entities adopt an organized approach to cybersecurity following the idea that while reducing risk of a significant cyber attack is hard, it is not impossible. Local public entities can learn our recommendations on how to prevent cyber attacks and build a prevention plan with one of our 10 pre-approved vendors who provide a Cybersecurity Assessment, planning, and coaching.

Cyber Partners

  • Local Public Entities in Michigan, including cities, townships, villages, counties, school districts, universities, community colleges and nonprofit hospitals
  • Michigan Department of Technology Management and Budget (DTMB)
  • Michigan State Police/Michigan Cyber Command Center (MC3)
  • Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps
  • Michigan Secretary of State
  • Michigan Air National Guard 272d Cyber Operations Squadron
  • Michigan Government Management Information Systems (MI-GMIS)
  • Michigan Education Technology Leaders (METL)
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Center for Internet Security (CIS)
  • Multi State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC)
Cyber Partners logos

Origins of Michigan Cyber Partners

Various public sector entities have been working cooperatively to address the growing cybersecurity threats, resource constraints, and knowledge gaps since 2011. The common theme: leaders in public entities realized that they all face the same cybersecurity threats individually, but tasks, such as understanding the threats, learning best practices, and responding to incidents, are best done with collective support.

At the 2011 Michigan Government Management Information Sciences (MI-GMIS) conference, IT professionals at the State of Michigan met with leaders from local governments, schools, and other public entities who were looking for help on how they could secure their networks and servers. 

Together, the two groups, facilitated by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), made the connections that would lead them to develop CYSAFE (Cybersecurity Assessment for Everyone). This was the first cybersecurity assessment tool that focused solely on the needs of local government.

Launched in 2014, CYSAFE was built using a variety of technical standards, including the SANS Controls, ISO, and NIST. CYSAFE was well-received and helped many organizations measure and improve their cybersecurity strength or posture. Nonetheless, local government leaders knew that the assessment tool only provided a partial solution. Most local governments needed individual coaching and support to understand, prioritize, and implement cybersecurity best practices.

In 2017, the State of Michigan launched a pilot CISO-as-a-Service program. During the 18-month pilot, a trained and qualified CISO (chief information security officer) consultant helped 13 local governments assess and plan improvements to their cybersecurity posture. 

The pilot was a success. All of the governments that participated in it made measurable improvements to their cybersecurity posture. They also further developed an active community of IT professionals who would work collectively to improve cybersecurity. The CISO-as-a-Service program was even awarded by the Center for Digital Government after its presentation at the Michigan Digital Government Summit that year and was highlighted in the State Scoop. 

Independently, Michigan Education Technology Leaders (METL) convened a cybersecurity task force to address similar challenges in the K12 environment. They developed a guide entitled Essential Cybersecurity Practices for K12 and distributed it to all public education institutions in Michigan.

In 2019, the State of Michigan began working on a re-boot of the CISO-as-a-Service program with the goal of making the same type of service available to any local public entity in Michigan. The reboot is called Michigan Cyber Partners, which has the dual mission of promoting best cybersecurity practices and building an active community of practice across all public entities in the state of Michigan.