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Relating to a report concerning information security for this state's information resources.
SB 34 requires The Department of Information Resources to submit a report evaluating the security risks of the state’s information resources. The governor, the lieutenant governor, and the legislature would receive the report by no later than January 13 of each year the legislature is in session.
Currently, the Department of Information Resources (DIR) is responsible for managing the cybersecurity information from state agencies. However, it does not have an established process of communicating any security concerns to the legislature and governor.
SB 34 establishes formal channels of communication between the DIR and the legislature over such security concerns. We support this bill because it will lead to better governmental awareness of its cyber security vulnerabilities; this means the government can effectively mitigate the possibilities of data breaches, which means it could protect a person’s private information from falling into the wrong hands. One can imagine any number of scenarios in which it would be incredibly damaging for state-held information to be obtained by the wrong people. From law enforcement to health care to border security to the Texas National Guard there is a great deal of information that does not belong in the public domain.
Furthermore, in so far as the state collects and maintains records of peoples' private information, the state is obligated to make its best good faith effort to protect that information; particularly sensitive information which if released could lead to identity theft or worse. This information can be considered an extension of a person's property. Therefore, we support the state's efforts to bolster information security to protect that sensitive information. This is well within the proper role of limited government.