The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), along with its California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC), is on the forefront of mitigating cyber threats.
According to the California Department of Technology, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically increased our state’s reliance on virtual tools for meetings, shopping, education, healthcare and government services.
Moving quickly to virtual environments also opened the door for a greater number of cyber attack attempts on information technology assets in California, across the country and throughout the world.
Organized cyber criminal groups have increased phishing, ransomware and other cyber crimes against government entities, healthcare organizations, public utilities, education facilities and corporations.
For the first time, we hear from the commander of Cal-CSIC, Jonathan Nuñez, who gives us an overview of what the center does, it’s area of responsibility and offers a few important tips for keeping you safe in cyberspace.
Cal OES’s own network experts remind all that while there is no reason to believe the State of California is a direct target of cyber-attacks, we are taking several precautions to ensure the safety of our networks.
Phishing is the most common type of cyber-attack and can take many forms– infecting your devices and getting you to share sensitive information such as credit card information, bank account details, or login credentials, potentially creating an entryway into our environment.
Everyone should be suspicious of all attachments and links sent by email, vishing, SMS text messaging, or other methods that could include social media. Do not click the link or open the attachment if you receive a suspicious email.
To help strengthen your cyber resiliency, observe the following email best practices:
- Think before you act
- Have a zero-trust mindset
- Search for spelling and grammar errors
- Do not click on links or attachments from senders you do not recognize. Be especially wary of .zip or other compressed or executable file types
- Do not provide sensitive personal or departmental information (like usernames and passwords)
- Watch for email senders that use suspicious or misleading email names
- Scrutinize URLs to make sure they’re legitimate and not imposter sites
- Do not try to open any shared document you’re not expecting to receive
The California Cybersecurity Integration Center’s primary mission is to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber incidents that could damage California’s economy, its critical infrastructure, or public and private sector computer networks in our state.
If you suspect you or your department’s cyber security has been compromised, please report it to your information security officer, and to the Cal-CSIC: firstname.lastname@example.org or at (833) REPORT-1
History of Cal-CSIC
On 31 August 2015, the Governor of California signed Executive Order B-34-15, creating the California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC).
On 26 September 2018, the Governor of California approved Assembly Bill 2813, in support of California’s statewide cybersecurity strategy.