McCann Introduces Legislation to Defend Higher Education Institutions from Cyber-Attacks – Michigan Senate Democrats

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Legislation will establish the Michigan Security Operations Center (MiSOC) to defend high-education institutions from cyber threats 

LANSING, Mich. (March 1, 2024) — Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) introduced Senate Bill 737, which establishes a 24/7 security operation center (SOC) for Michigan’s higher education institutions. SOCs provide cybersecurity threat detection, prevention and response capabilities for organizations.

The implementation for the Michigan cybersecurity defense organization and security operations center aims to help public universities address the rapidly evolving threats that can damage and interrupt critical operations in Michigan. Following initial implementation costs, the SOC operational costs are expected to be funded with dues from participating members.

“I am grateful to have worked closely with the Michigan Association for State Universities (MASU) on the development of this critical bill,” Sen. McCann said. “More and more, we are seeing institutions deal with escalating cyber-threats that could cause costly, dangerous and exploitative damage to the critical operations of our higher education institutions and the sensitive information they maintain. This bill will create a constant hub to prevent, defend and respond to cyber attacks on our public universities.”

“The Chief Information Officers at Michigan’s public universities are very excited about the potential for one-time seed funding to establish a center that will serve as a national model for cyber-defense, research and training,” said Rob Thompson, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President for Computing and Information Technology at Wayne State University. “This state investment will protect privacy, prevent crime and lower costs at public universities. Once the center is up and running, these vital cybersecurity services will be made available to public schools, community colleges, municipalities and libraries throughout the state.”

The Michigan Security Operations Center (MiSOC) will work with Merit Network, which is primarily governed by Michigan’s public universities, as the established network operator for higher education in the state of Michigan, to monitor and respond to network intrusions in novel and cost-effective ways.   

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