Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, has eliminated the Cybersecurity Officer position from her cabinet. Unlike most states, which are pouring additional funding into cybersecurity, Raimondo has cut all funding from the Cybersecurity Officer’s role, which was held by Mike Steinmetz since the position was created in 2017. The Cybersecurity Officer functions will be distributed among other state agencies, according to a published report.
Mike Steinmetz took office April 17 as Rhode Island’s first cybersecurity officer. Although he has been in this new position for only two months, Steinmetz has developed a network of state officials, academics, and industry experts. He stressed the importance of partners within the private sector and academia.
AT&T was awarded a $6.5 billion contract to build and operate the nationwide network FirstNet. However, the legislation that authorizes FirstNet also authorizes a state to develop its own alternative on the spectrum carved out for the network, as long as the alternative is interoperable with the FirstNet core.