State Cybersecurity Chief On Evolving Threats To Vermonters' Data

Jan 7, 2019

The state of Vermont will spend millions of dollars on cybersecurity through 2019 to keep the data you share with the state—like at the DMV or when you do your taxes—protected from threats in cyberspace.

We're talking with Vermont's new chief information security officer, Nicholas Andersen, about what those threats are and how they're evolving. Andersen works in the state's Agency of Digital Services.

Andersen told Vermont Edition the state's computers thwart more than 4 million cyberattacks each year—and that number will likely grow as more state services migrate online.

Last month Andersen became the state's Chief Information Security Officer under the new Agency of Digital Services, itself established only in 2017.

Andersen says consolidating all of Vermont's computer needs under one agency makes it easier to keep the state's nearly 10,000 computers secure. 

He says another security measure to protect Vermonters’ information is making sure the information is not all in one central location—and not too easily shared, even among state agencies.

"In some ways, you might appreciate the security that it introduces by having some of that information segmented," Andersen says.

"When we talk about privacy, [we ensure] the data you’re providing is being used exclusively for the purpose you’ve consented for it to be used."

Andersen says the Agency of Digital Services is also investing $600,000 in a new Security Operations Center in partnership with Norwich University, which Anderson says that will help train people in cybersecurity and allow round-the-clock monitoring of threats.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about how Andersen's role as CISO is working to bolster the state's cybersecurity.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.