New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham earlier this month signed into law the Cybersecurity Act, which establishes a state government Cybersecurity Office that will oversee cybersecurity and information security related functions across New Mexico.

According to a press release from New Mexico’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT), the law also establishes a cybersecurity advisory committee that is charged with identifying and recommending cybersecurity best practices for all state government entities, educational institutions, and tribal governments.

“Managing and protecting a robust and secure network infrastructure is extremely important as potential attacks from cyber criminals grow exponentially,” DoIT Cabinet Secretary Designate and Cybersecurity Planning Committee Chair Peter Mantos said.

“DoIT in cooperation with the new Cybersecurity Office will diligently continue its work to strengthen state information technology networks and to protect sensitive information of the state and its citizens,” Mantos said.

DoIT and the Cybersecurity Office will work in conjunction to implement cybersecurity solutions for state agencies and offer solutions to other public sector entities.

The Cybersecurity Office will adopt and implement new rules establishing minimum security standards and policies to protect agency information technology systems and infrastructure and provide appropriate guidance for all administrators and users of state IT resources.

New Mexico’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Raja Sambandam will lead the new office.

According to the press release, Sambandam and his team are already collaborating with state agency CISOs and chief information officers.

“We are working to protect the personal information of every New Mexican who does business with the state. We want to assure state agencies are confident in protecting citizen data from malicious intent,” Sambandam said during a cybersecurity forum in March.

He continued, “In meeting with the state CISOs, it is apparent they are eager collaborators who will continue to maintain and improve the state’s cyber posture.”

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