NH agencies seal the deal on cybersecurity incident response plan

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CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire Department of Information Technology (DoIT) Commissioner Denis Goulet and Robert Buxton, the Director of the Department of Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), on Friday signed the State of New Hampshire’s Cyber Incident Response Plan.

“From making local cybersecurity grants available to cities, towns, and school districts, to our statewide incident response plan, New Hampshire is hard at work to keep cybersecurity at the forefront amid the ever-evolving technology landscape,” said Governor Chris Sununu.

The plan, developed through a series of tabletop exercises, is a joint effort between the two agencies. The plan details the response and recovery to cyber incidents in New Hampshire and identifies the roles and responsibilities for agencies who are involved.

“As cyber incidents rise around the world, it’s important to recognize that support is needed during the response and recovery efforts,” Buxton said. “The work completed on this plan allows us to better serve our public and private partners throughout the State of New Hampshire.”

The plan seeks to maintain trust with the residents, visitors and business that do business with New Hampshire.

“We are proud of the wonderful partnership we have with the Department of Safety,” Goulet said. “This important document will serve as a framework for future incidents and allow us to minimize the impact of cyber incidents in the state.”

A copy of the plan can be viewed here.

Cyber threats are continuously evolving, becoming a more complex and costly issue for individuals, companies, and government entities alike. Now more than ever, threat actors at home and abroad are using cyber-attacks as a means for profit, espionage, and warfare. The low-risk, high-reward nature of cyber-attacks make them an attractive mechanism for inflicting social, economic, and technological damage.

As noted in Cybersecurity Trends Point to More Sophisticated Attacks Ahead (govtech.com), current trends suggest a steady increase in the frequency, number, and sophistication of cyber-attacks that the State of New Hampshire will face. The single biggest threat in New Hampshire will remain a ransomware attack directed at theft or compromise of sensitive data in state government agencies, municipalities, school districts, and the healthcare and emergency services sectors.

The primary attack vector will remain human behavior, with social engineering techniques being leveraged in an estimated 74 percent of breaches globally per the Verizon 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report.

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