Minnesota Boosts Cyber Budget

State ups defense spending by $32 million.


Healthcare Under Attack

Hospitals see rising cyber threats.


90% Preventable

Simple steps thwart most attacks.

News > Cyber-Security > CS-General
by Kevin Wood

Cybersecurity on High Alert: Minnesota Ramps Up Defenses Amid Rising Threats



State of Minnesota getting serious

With a trove of sensitive data encompassing millions of Minnesota residents, state officials are leaving nothing to chance. Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) stands vigil over everything from critical infrastructure like highways and traffic control systems to public institutions like the state zoo. “Imagine what a significant internet outage on a large scale would look like,” warns John Israel, Chief Information Security Officer at MNIT.

Recognizing the heightened danger of crippling cyberattacks, Minnesota state lawmakers recently greenlit an additional $32 million funding boost for MNIT’s cybersecurity efforts. This comes on the heels of the state’s inaugural statewide cybersecurity plan implemented last year, covering over 3,000 government entities.

“I believe we’re taking proactive steps,” asserts Israel. “Many attacks stem from everyday computers compromised and weaponized against us.” State officials logged over 1,000 security incidents throughout last year, impacting schools, universities, and government agencies.

Healthcare: A Prime Target

The healthcare sector has been under siege as well. Yan Kravchenko, Director of Core Technology and Information Security at Hennepin Healthcare, reveals his team oversees an alarming 50,000 devices. Kravchenko emphasizes, “Healthcare relies on technology so extensively, including all our lifesaving medical devices. The asymmetry of this fight is daunting; attackers need to breach our defenses just once, but we must remain perfect constantly.” With increasing threats, Kravchenko’s team and budget have expanded in kind, yet he joins state officials in urging individuals to strengthen their personal cybersecurity hygiene.

Prevention: The Best Defense

“What many don’t understand is that a staggering 90% of attacks are easily preventable,” Kravchenko stresses. “The biggest weakness often lies in simple user practices.” To assist both organizations and citizens, federal cyber officials emphasize four key preventive measures:

  • Secure Devices: Employ robust security software on all computers and mobile devices, enabling automatic updates for swift threat patching.
  • MFA on Accounts: Activate multi-factor authentication (MFA) for accounts whenever possible. Additional factors like texted codes or biometric scans significantly reduce risk, even if username and password leaks occur.
  • Backups Essential: Data is king, and regular backups are the only insurance. Employ external drives or cloud storage, disconnected from your primary network.
  • Vigilance Matters: Cybercriminals thrive on exploiting trust. Remain cautious of unusual links, emails, and communication, even from seemingly “known” sources.

Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Fight

While authorities like MNIT work relentlessly to mitigate threats, the cyber realm is a shared battlespace. By improving everyday safety practices and implementing basic but powerful safeguards, citizens play a crucial role in reinforcing Minnesota’s, and the nation’s, digital resilience.


  • Proactive Defense: BBG’s comprehensive cybersecurity solutions shield your business from evolving threats and minimize cyber risk.
  • Robust Disaster Recovery: Unmatched protection and rapid recovery ensure operations continuity even in the face of disruptions.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team strategizes with you to implement secure, customized web browsing and bulletproof ransomware defense.
  • Take Action: Protect your business’s future. Schedule a personalized consultation: email info@bbg-mn.com today!