Cyber Security Is A Concern At State Capitol


Wednesday, February 8th 2017, 5:13 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck


Cyber security is a concern at the state Capitol with experts reporting nearly a half million threats in the past year -- threats that could target you.

The director of the state's IT security department said every day hackers are trying to get at sensitive state information, and when it comes to a serious breach, they said it isn't a case of if it will happen but a case of when it will happen.

Personal information about almost every Oklahoman is stored in the databases of the state's 600-plus agencies.

Every day hackers try to bypass the state's firewalls to get inside.

The biggest threat right now is a scam where hackers break into a database, encrypt the information, and hold it hostage until the owner pays up.  

The state was recently tipped by federal agents that hackers were planning an attempt here.

"Within 11 minutes, I physically was on site at that agency and unplugging that PC, stopping it from encrypting and stopping from infiltrating the network," information technology security director Mark Gower said.

The state's IT security department wants to consolidate all state agencies into one cyber-security department to better monitor sensitive information. That task should be complete this year.