Ideas Shared in Collaborative Efforts to Protect Californians from Cyber Threats

State and local representatives, as well as members from the public sector, gathered in Sacramento for the 2016 Cyber Security Symposium to collaborate on protecting Californians from cyber emergencies.

Dan Bout, Assistant Director of Response for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), served as keynote speaker to officially kickoff the two-day symposium at the Sacramento Convention Center this week in downtown Sacramento.

“At its core, this symposium is about bringing people together so we can share ideas and get common operating procedures on how the public and private sectors are going to work together to protect the cyber infrastructure of California,” said Bout.


Eli Owen, Cal OES Deputy Commander of the State Threat Assessment Center, also spoke to the crowd, primarily of Information Technology professionals, and participated in a Q&A panel to offer a variety of cybersecurity perspectives. Panelists included: Scott MacDonald, California Information Security Office (CISO); Joanne McNabb, California Department of Justice; Scott Howland, California Highway Patrol; and James Parsons, Cyber Networks Defense Team Chief, California Military Department.

“The Director of National Intelligence in February identified the cybersecurity threat to the county as the number one threat. This is the third year in a row,” Owen said. “For California, we have also identified that as the top threat. We based this principally on the number of attacks and costs associated with that threat.”

Through collaborative efforts between Cal OES, the California Department of Technology, California Highway Patrol and California Military Department, the state’s priority is to continue to strengthen security policies and standards.

The Cybersecurity Task Force was established to address the growing cyber threat to networks, personal privacy and critical infrastructure. The task force’s mission is to enhance the security of California digital infrastructure and to create a culture of cybersecurity through collaboration, information sharing, and education and awareness.

Extensive cybersecurity awareness begins Saturday, and extends through all of October, with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives.


Additional resources:

State Threat Assessment Center

Cal OES Twitter

Cal OES Facebook







Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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