The state is now taking applications from civilians with internet and high tech security skills to join a special unit in the Ohio National Guard. The Ohio Cyber Reserve is a group of volunteers that would be trained to handle potential cyber-attacks on the government, infrastructure, or businesses.
Members of the Ohio Cyber Reserve would be on standby, and would be granted leave from work and compensated if called into active duty.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose says the reserve can play a vital role in fighting potential threats to elections. As LaRose explains, if a foreign country mounted a physical attack on a local government, then the national guard would step in. He says the state should treat cyber-attacks in the same manner.
“In the virtual world we are now able to respond with the best protection that we have,” says LaRose.
Several city and county governments have reported attacks by hackers demanding ransom, including Akron and Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport. Businesses around the state have also reported ransomware attacks.