Feds approve Guam's cybersecurity plan
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has approved Guam’s Cybersecurity Plan, officials announced this week.
According to the Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense, the federal agency has determined that Guam's plan has met the FY22 State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program statutory requirements set forth in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
"The development of a cybersecurity plan is a key requirement for the (cybersecurity grant program) and constitutes an important step in creating strategies to manage and reduce cybersecurity risks impacting you and your partner communities," Esther Aguigui, homeland security advisor, and Frank Lujan, chief technology officer, Trent Frazier, deputy assistant director for CISA, wrote in a letter to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
According to CISA, the Cybersecurity Strategic Plan provides a blueprint for addressing cyber intrusions and securing resilient technologies.
The strategic plan seeks to address immediate threats by making it increasingly attack-proof. The goal is also to drive security at scale by prioritizing cybersecurity as a fundamental safety issue.
Local officials noted that the government of Guam's critical services such as healthcare, utilities, education and public safety manage sensitive data.
"The protection of Guam’s information assets from an intentional attack or unintentional misuse is paramount to the government’s ability to continue to provide critical services to the people of Guam," officials said.
"The completion of the cybersecurity plan to protect the island against any cyber-related threats, regardless of their source, include but are not limited to terrorists, nation-states, criminal organizations or enterprises, or human error," they added.
Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio noted Guam's strategic value to national security, hence the importance of building a comprehensive approach to cyber risk mitigation, preparedness and response.
He added that a detailed plan will help in protecting critical assets, infrastructure, networks, sensitive data, data storages and technology symptoms.
“Bolstering our cybersecurity measures is in line with our mission to protect the lives and property of our island community as well as the nation," the lt. governor said.
Besides building Guam’s ability to identify, detect and prevent cyber attacks, Aguigui said the government is also building the local capability to effectively respond to cybersecurity threats and hazards with adequate training."
“The government of Guam is also working with federal counterparts on a comprehensive effort to enhance Guam’s critical infrastructure resilience following Typhoon Mawar, to include identifying possible mitigation measures for cybersecurity for critical infrastructures," she added.
The cybersecurity plan was developed by the Office of the Governor, Office of Technology, Mariana Regional Fusion Center, GHS/OCD, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam along with other local, federal, military and private organizations.
Officials said the cybersecurity plan will soon be made available for public view on the GHS/OCD website.