State Auditor raises red flag on cybersecurity vulnerabilities

State Auditor raises red flag on cybersecurity vulnerabilities
State Auditor flags potential issue with cybersecurity assessments for state agencies.

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -State agencies house more of your personal information than you may realize. But how secure is it? One official is sounding the alarm and pushing to have the law changed to make your information safer.

Servers for state agencies have a wealth of personal information, attractive to hackers. You’d think the cybersecurity reports would be under lock and key, right? Well, maybe not so much. State Auditor Shad White says it turns out, they could be subject to public records requests.

“Technology has changed," noted White. "We’ve got a lot of documents that show the cyber security vulnerabilities of different agencies around state government. Those really should not be made public or anybody else that could use those vulnerabilities to get into our system.”

So, White worked with the Department of Information Technology Services to push legislation that would better protect your personal information. It was legislation the ITS director pushed during last year’s legislative session but it didn’t survive.

“We really just did not want to be creating a play book and then have to hand it over to hackers once we did that," explained White. "It would almost be like Nick Saban writing his playbook and then two weeks before the national championship mailing it over to Clemson or whoever else and saying...here it is, this is what we’re thinking about doing.”

Some state agencies have a bigger target for hackers than others because of the information they house like voter information, investigative documents or even revenue information that would show someone’s wealth.

“After this bill has been passed, your information that you send into state government whether it’s how much money you make or what you said when you’re applying for a license or anything else, is just a little bit safer now, which is a good thing,” added White.

The legislature has approved the bill and it will need the Governor’s signature for final approval.

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