By: Eli Freund, Editorial Communications Manager, UConn School of Engineering
On July 15, Governor Ned Lamont visited the University of Connecticut and the UConn Tech Park, in order to meet with several UConn Engineering faculty and sign strong legislation to combat cybersecurity threats across the state.
The visit, which encompassed several centers across the Tech Park, included a tour of the Connecticut Manufacturing Simulation Center, the Pratt and Whitney Additive Manufacturing Center, and the state-of-the-art electron microscope.
Lamont was on a mission to also learn more about cybersecurity and the research UConn Engineering is embarking on in that field. On his tour, in order to gain more knowledge, he was joined by Associate Dean and UConn Tech Park Executive Director Pamir Alpay, Synchrony Financial Chair for Cybersecurity Laurent Michel, and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Krishna Pattipati.
The bill that Lamont was signing at the UConn Tech Park was Public Act 21-119, An Act Incentivizing the Adoption of Cybersecurity Standards for Businesses, which protects businesses from punitive damages if personal or restricted information is improperly accessed, maintained, communicated, or processed, so long as such businesses have adopted and adhered to appropriate cybersecurity measures.
According to Lamont, this new legislation will be a boon for the most vulnerable organizations, allowing them to keep their key systems safe.
“Let’s start with what we can do, and let’s start keeping our businesses safe. Our municipalities are the ones that most likely get hit, and sometimes it’s our businesses that are the most likely to get hit. So, one of the things we wanted to do with this legislation is not punish people but give them the incentives and guidance they need to keep their IT systems safe,” Lamont said.
Michel agreed with Lamont, and put into context the problems facing the world, and the solutions that need to be put in place.
“I’d like to start with a number—$6 trillion. That’s the cost of cyber-attacks to businesses worldwide and is projected to grow to $10.5 trillion by 2025. Personally identifiable information that gets lost creates problems for all of us. That included your social security number, other forms of identification, bank records, health records. We need to get better at this, we need to have better accountability, we need to have better disclosures, but more importantly we need to have, in place, proactive measures that help organizations protect themselves,” Michel said.
To learn more about the UConn Tech Park, please visit https://techpark.uconn.edu.