CARSON CITY — Nevada is one step closer to having a designated state office that combats cyber threats and breaches.
The Assembly unanimously approved Assembly Bill 471, which creates the Nevada Office of Cyber Defense Coordination. Gov. Brian Sandoval has made cybersecurity a priority, proposing $3.5 million in new funding toward the office into his budget.
The bill comes amid heightened awareness about the threats that come with cybercrimes, whether it’s the theft of personal data or shadowy Russian hackers hacking the Democratic National Committee’s emails.
Sandoval highlighted cybersecurity in his State of the State address this year, saying the center “will help Nevada detect, prevent and respond to cyber attacks.”
The center would be part of the Nevada Department of Public Safety and coordinate information about cyber threats between state government and private industries. The department also has the Division of Emergency Management, which oversees efforts to plan response to man-made and natural disasters.
The measure had drawn support from the private and public sectors, including Switch, Union Pacific Railroad and the Metropolitan Police Department.
The bill would require the new office to prepare a statewide strategic plan with information about best practices, policies and recommendations by Jan. 1.
The measure still faces a vote in the Senate.
Contact Ben Botkin at email@example.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.