Florida requiring all state employees undergo cybersecurity training

Crooks lurk online at any moment, trying to steal your information or get their hands on your hard-earned cash.

Over the past few months, there have been several data breaches, including one at Hillsborough County, another at HCA Florida Hospital and most recently at John's Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

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To fight back, Florida is requiring all state employees to undergo cybersecurity training.

According to Brian Fonseca with the FIU Institute for Public Policy, the sophistication of cyber attacks continues to improve, so It's hard to say if anyone is safe.

"We're seeing the types of organizations that are being attacked, very diversified from water infrastructure to energy infrastructure to communications to police and security, law enforcement organizations right down to clerk of courts," Fonseca shared.

As a result, a state-wide effort known as the CyberSecureFlorida Training Initiative is now underway. It requires all state employees to undergo cybersecurity training.

"What we're doing up here is helping build resilience in the state to be able to mitigate and protect against that sort of surge in cyber attacks," Fonseca said.

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Fonseca is one of the training hosts, which is being developed by the state-funded organization Cyber Florida.

Wednesday, they held one of their first courses teaching public sector employees how to respond and protect against threats.

"Our training, specifically in partnership with Cyber Florida, is focused on managers and executive leadership across the state and state and local governments, which comprises thousands, if not more, in senior leadership positions that we need to ensure understand the real severity of the threat and give them the tools, resources, the networks that they need to help protect these organizations against this surging threat," Fonseca said.

The free one-day in-person training course involves presentations from cyber experts about the importance of cybersecurity, its role in Florida's infrastructure and how criminals try to take advantage. Fonseca said the training is vital, especially for smaller governments.

"They're going after smaller municipalities, because they know that those smaller municipalities haven't had the kinds of resources to build really strong resiliency against outside attacks," Fonseca explained.