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    Ohio Cyber Reserve: Ohioans serving their fellow Ohioans

    Ohio Cyber Reserve: Ohioans serving their fellow Ohioans

    Courtesy Photo | As part of the organized state militia, the Ohio Cyber Reserve (OhCR) is a volunteer...... read more read more

    COLUMBUS, OH, UNITED STATES

    06.09.2023

    Courtesy Story

    Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

    Oct. 25, 2019, marked a significant moment for the state of Ohio as the Ohio Cyber Reserve was established by the 134th General Assembly’s passage of Senate Bill 52 and Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature.

    As part of the organized state militia, the Ohio Cyber Reserve (OhCR) is a volunteer civilian force, under the command of the adjutant general, ready to assist municipalities and state government in addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The OhCR is also capable of responding to cyber-based attacks and reducing cyber threats through education and collaboration.

    “The Ohio Cyber Reserve has allowed me to volunteer my unique set of cyber defense skills to not only help protect, defend against and respond to cybersecurity incidents throughout the state of Ohio, but provide training to the cyber talent of the future by mentoring for STEM cyber programs, such as Cyber Patriot,” said Greg Yingling, a cyber defense analyst with the OhCR. “Cyber is a fast-paced and ever-evolving domain, and most organizations do not understand how connected they really are.”

    One of the distinctive characteristics of this team is that all its members come from across private industry and higher education. Though not uniformed and structured like other organized Ohio state militia or the Ohio National Guard, the OhCR relies entirely on over 100 volunteers who have a comprehensive understanding of cyber defense and practical experience in preventing, evaluating and mitigating cyber threats.

    Craig Baker, OhCR program administrator, sees clear advantages in how the OhCR is structured and able to respond.

    “We have attracted an amazing group of cyber professionals who not only have the right credentials and background, but who also have a strong sense of service to their state and communities,” Baker said. “Our OhCR partnership with private industry and others has allowed the governor, through the adjutant general, to provide immediate response to six cyber incidents in just the initial three years of the program. This is something we would not have been able to accomplish prior to establishing the OhCR.”

    Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general, sees the OhCR as a necessary extension of the obligation his organization has to serve the state, specifically in responding to cyberattacks aimed at disrupting local government or disabling critical infrastructure.

    “Creating the OhCR underscored our evolution into a contemporary environment where threats to the digital and information domain are as real and potentially devastating as any natural disaster or terrorist act,” Harris said. “Cyber poses a very dynamic homeland security challenge that required us to completely reevaluate how we recruit, organize and prepare to respond.”

    Cyber reserve programs are gaining momentum nationally as other states seek to emulate what Ohio has done. The Department of Defense is also exploring how to leverage the cyber expertise and knowledge that exists in the private sector by establishing a civilian volunteer-based program.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.09.2023
    Date Posted: 06.10.2023 22:22
    Story ID: 446680
    Location: COLUMBUS, OH, US

    Web Views: 308
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN