Daily Court Reporter - News Proposed Cyber Reserve would be part of state's organized militia
Proposed Cyber Reserve would be part of state's organized militia
KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
A pair of Republican lawmakers has introduced a measure into the Ohio House of Representatives that would create a militia-grade force that would focus on protecting the state's IT infrastructure from cyber attacks.
Just as the Ohio National Guard is called to active duty for national disasters, the Ohio Cyber Reserve as proposed in House Bill 747 would be a resource an Ohio governor could call upon these teams when local resources are not sufficient to counter attacks on critical IT infrastructure.
"Cybersecurity is a concern in both the private and government sector," Rep. Laura Lanese, R-Grove City, said in a press release recently.
HB 747 would require the state's Adjutant General's Office to establish the new reserve unit. The newly formed security organization would be responsible for maintaining teams of IT professionals to deter, mitigate, and remedy cyber attacks on local governments, local agencies and community partners.
"The governor shall organize and maintain within this state, on a reserve basis, civilian cyber security reserve forces capable of being expanded and trained to educate and protect state, county and local governmental agencies, critical infrastructure, including election systems, businesses and citizens of this state from cyber attacks," the bill begins. "In the case of an emergency proclaimed by the governor, or caused by illicit actors or imminent danger, the governor, as commander-in-chief, shall expand the reserve as the exigency of the occasion requires."
According to the bill, the adjutant general may establish and revise, in the name of the governor, the rates of pay for reserve members when called to state active duty.
Similar to the National Guard, the Ohio Naval Militia and Ohio Military Reserve, Cyber Reserve members - while performing any drill or training - shall serve in an unpaid volunteer status. Upon being called to state active duty, reserve members shall function as civilian members of the Ohio organized militia.
The bill leaves it up to the governor to adopt rules for membership, organization, administration, equipment and maintenance of the new reserve force.
Additionally, the governor may requisition from the U.S. Department of Defense equipment that can be furnished by the department and make available to the reserve the facilities of state armories and equipment and other state premises and property that may be available.
HB 747 stipulates that no part of the legislation authorizes the cyber reserve unit or any part of it to be called or ordered into the military service of the United States.
The reserve, however, may become a civilian component of the Ohio National Guard.
Lanese, who jointly sponsored the bill with Rep. Mark Romanchuk, R-Ontario, expects the Ohio Cyber Reserve to include trained and vetted civilian volunteers who are cybersecurity experts.
"This legislation will give Ohio a team of professionals to both prevent attacks and swiftly react should such an event occur," she said.
Adapted from the section of Ohio law pertaining to organizing a militia and informed by previous attempts to address this problem in other states, HB 747 takes into account Ohio's unique needs and capabilities and is broadly written to assist the adjutant general in preventing cyber attacks.
The bill also is expected to assist local townships and municipalities facilitate their cybersecurity efforts.
The bill, which has cosponsor support of five fellow House members, awaits committee referral.
Date Published: November 27, 2018