Nevada Officials Eye $3.5 Million Cybersecurity Boost - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada Officials Eye $3.5 Million Cybersecurity Boost

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Gov. Brian Sandoval is asking the Nevada Legislature to spend $3.5 million over the next two years to build up the state's cybersecurity infrastructure and management.
    
His proposed Office of Cyber Defense Coordination would organize data systems across all state agencies, partner with education officials on workforce development and consult private businesses on best practices.

"It's more than worth it," Patrick Conmay, Chief of the Investigation Division for the Nevada Department of Public Safety said. "The risk is there and we need to start somewhere."
    
Existing cybersecurity protocols are designed to protect the sensitive information of Nevada residents and anyone who does business here. Conmay says state agencies battle hackers on a daily basis.

"Individuals engaged in this type of activity are probing, all the time, to find weaknesses in everybody's systems," Conmay said.

The new office would work with local governments, the federal government, and private entities.  By securing information in state agencies, Conmay says it could also improve the private sector.

"People are interacting with these state systems from their homes, from their computers, and the way that these systems are all interconnected, then we're helping in that arena as well," Conmay said.
    
An attorney for the governor's office says financial and personal securities rely only in part on the machines and software that house that information.
    
Defense adviser Brigadier General Bill Burks says frequent collaboration and human oversight are also crucial to mitigate and respond to attacks.
    
No one spoke against Assembly Bill 471 at its first legislative hearing Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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