Posted: Sep 28, 2015

On September 28th, Governor Jack Dalrymple announced he is forming a Cybersecurity Task Force to help address the rapidly evolving and expanding cyber threats facing the nation and the potential impact on North Dakota’s state government. The task force will be comprised of directors and information technology experts from a number of state agencies. The team will be tasked with reviewing the state’s current cybersecurity policies and practices and making policy and resource recommendations needed to ensure the security of state networks and systems. The task force work will be facilitated by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley.

“Cybersecurity is a significant and growing challenge facing our nation today, and North Dakota’s executive branch of government is not immune from the threat of cyber-attacks,” said Dalrymple. “The task force will build on the substantial cybersecurity investments already made by the state and identify and implement enhanced measures for protecting our systems and data.”

The task force will complement and build on policies and practices already established by the North Dakota Information Technology Department. This includes an expanded governance structure for cybersecurity among the state’s executive branch of government to share best practices and recommend new policies for mitigating future cyber-attacks. The team will also identify ways to enhance the use of network defense and monitoring tools, implement training and awareness programs for state employees and develop a cyber-incident response strategy. 

“We take the protection of citizen data very seriously and continue to invest heavily in system and network security measures,” said Mike Ressler, State Chief Information Officer. “The creation of this task force emphasizes our focus on awareness and the importance of security at the executive level across state government.”

The Cybersecurity Task Force will hold its first meeting in October to coincide with Dalrymple’s proclamation designating the month as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the state.

The Governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force is comprised of:

Mike Ressler – State Chief Information Officer

Dan Sipes – State Deputy Chief Information Officer

Lisa Feldner – Chief Information Officer, North Dakota University System

Lonnie Grabowska – Deputy Director, ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation

Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk – Director, Department of Emergency Services

Greg Wilz – Director, Division of Homeland Security

Grant Levi – Director, Department of Transportation

Ryan Rauschenberger – State Tax Commissioner

Maggie Anderson – Executive Director, Department of Human Services

Sparb Collins – Executive Director, North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System

Pam Sharp – Director, Office of Management and Budget

Terry Dwelle – State Health Officer

Cheri Giesen – Executive Director, Job Service North Dakota

Eric Hardmeyer – President and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of North Dakota

Bryan Klipfel – Director, Workforce Safety and Insurance