From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2011
Contact: Sarah Gomez, 512-463-0126

Senator Van de Putte Files Legislation Advancing Cyber Security in Texas

(AUSTIN) — Imagine a world where your entire private life including your medical records, bank statements, and credit card information can be stolen by anyone around the globe in a matter of seconds. Now, consider the crippling effect hacking into critical infrastructure like public transportation systems, telecommunication facilities, and energy utilities could have on society. This is the reality of the world we live in today. There are more serious threats to our cyber network than people attempting to access your Facebook account or hacking into your email. On average, hundreds of attacks hit our state's information resources every day. Cyber attacks can result in serious consequences that interrupt or deny business operations, and cause revenue and property loss1. It is imperative for Texas to combine the work at all levels of business, government, and education to combat this growing and sophisticated menace.

Today, Senator Leticia Van de Putte filed Senate Bill 988 (SB 988), which will create the Cyber Security Education and Economic Development Council. The Council will research and recommend improvements to the infrastructure of cyber security technology, and indentify methods to facilitate the growth of this rising industry.

"The cyber security industry presents a new field of economic growth that will be essential in the future," said Van de Putte. "Researching new opportunities in cyber security will help us tackle the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a state."

The Council will consist of members from governmental agencies, businesses, and institutions of higher education. The integration of business and collegiate institutions will help provide higher education programs crucial information to ensure the state has the best workforce and experts in the cyber security field. The creation of the Council complements President Obama's National Cyber Security Initiative.

"The threat of cyber-attacks is very real and has the potential of impacting every aspect of our lives," said Richard Perez, President and CEO of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. "Cyber security education, awareness, and the protection of critical infrastructure are paramount in combating the problem. The Chamber applauds Senator Van de Putte's vision in creating an advisory committee to identify ways to increase the cyber security awareness of State agencies and departments and to improve the security of the State's critical infrastructure."

Technology keeps our society connected. Texas must create initiatives that provide new innovations and create a more prepared workforce, while protecting our Internet safety. This Council will help the State become a leader in cyber security technology and set an example for the rest of the nation.

1. Securing Texas Information Resources: