Cyber Civilian Corps reflects innovative new aspect to defending cyber attacks

Contact: Kurt Weiss, 517-335-0050
Agency: Technology, Management & Budget

May 21, 2014

In October of last year as part of the 2013 Michigan Cyber Summit, Gov. Rick Snyder announced the plan for a Cyber Civilian Corps to serve as a rapid response team that would assist the state and industries across Michigan during a major cyber incident.  Today marks the launch of a pilot group that will ultimately result in the establishment of the corps. This new cyber incident rapid response team represents partnerships between state government, the National Guard and other public and private partners.

“We are on our way to realizing the vision of the Cyber Civilian Corps and the vital role they will play in defending Michigan against cyber attacks,” said David Behen, Director of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget and CIO for the State of Michigan.  “This marks another critical step in our plan and I want to thank the many public and private partners who are working with us to make it happen.”

Michigan’s leadership in the area of cybersecurity is recognized across the country and this effort to join public and private entities in the fight against cyber threats will help build a safer, stronger cyber environment.  Michigan places a high emphasis on protecting the state’s computer systems, networks and data and the state’s centralized technology model places Michigan in a strong position to implement security efforts like this.

The corps will include government, education and business technology professionals who will be able to improve their skills by taking advantage of training through the Michigan Cyber Range (MCR), which serves as the premier cybersecurity learning environment. The MCR offers prevention through practice and education, affording cybersecurity professionals with a unique environment and learning center for detecting, preventing, and thwarting cyber-attacks in a real-world setting. Like a test track or a firing range, the cyber range enables individuals and organizations to conduct "live fire" exercises.

“This is all part of the governor’s vision and plan for cybersecurity,” Behen added.  “We have a thorough plan and it’s exciting to see it coming together.”

Data theft and breaches from cybercrime can cost businesses as much as $1 trillion globally. Michigan government experiences more than 500,000 cyber attacks daily ranging from spam to web browser attacks to network intrusion.

The new Cyber Civilian Corps will provide mutual aid response and assistance to the State of Michigan and all industries in the state as needed during a governor declared state of emergency; create an environment for team members to improve skills by taking advantage of training opportunities on the MCR; and develop and expand partnerships with government, business and education around cyber security.

Today’s launch of the team will be followed up by a formal training exercise leveraging the cyber range on July 23.

For a copy of Michigan’s cyber initiative as well as other information about cybersecurity, visit Michigan.gov/cybersecurity.