Mississippi auditor tours MGCCC cyber center

Auditor Shad White said the end goal for this is to help the state become number one in cybersecurity.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:16 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Auditor Shad White toured Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Cyber Center Tuesday to get an idea of what cybersecurity looks like in Mississippi.

“As state auditor, one of my responsibilities is to check to see state government agencies are complying with the cybersecurity regulations that apply to them, and when we’ve done that in the last couple of years, we’ve realized there are several state agencies that are not in the position to defend themselves from hacking if that happens,” White said.

White visited classrooms where students participate in simulation training on how to respond to hacking and ransomware attacks; simulations like capture the flag and red team vs blue team where one team plays the role of a hacker and the other tries to defend their information from the other team.

He said focusing on cybersecurity will pay off for Mississippi.

“When we investigate somebody for fraud or embezzlement or something like that, some of the evidence is going to be on a cell phone or laptop,” White said. “We have to partner with cybersecurity experts so we can get access to that information. We can hold people accountable if they steal taxpayer funds.”

White said the end goal for this is to help the state become number one in cybersecurity.

“To be able to train folks, keep them here in Mississippi. Maybe they can start their own cybersecurity business, they will certainly help us to be more cyber secure in government offices and businesses around this state,” he said.

“If you got an investigation that involves digital evidence and you can’t get into that piece of digital technology, you need to call down here to the community college because they can link you up to their cyber center. They can help you get the evidence that you need. These are key capabilities that law enforcement entities need to know about in the Southeast.”

MGCCC said they plan to invite local colleges and high schools to let their students get a chance to participate in their simulations in their classrooms.

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