New Jersey keeping careful eye on potential cyber threats

 New Jersey Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Chris Rodriguez says analysts and engineers track about 750 million events a day. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

New Jersey Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Chris Rodriguez says analysts and engineers track about 750 million events a day. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

As cyber attacks become an increasing threat, New Jersey is taking steps to raise awareness and protect the state’s systems.

New Jersey Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Chris Rodriguez says analysts and engineers at the state’s Cyber Security and Communications Integration Cell in West Trenton track about 750 million events a day.

The goal, he said, is to promote real-time awareness of cyber threats for New Jersey citizens, municipal governments, businesses, and the owners and operators of critical infrastructure.

“What we’re looking for are malicious code, malicious actors trying to get into our systems,” he said. “When we can identify those specific IP addresses, we can block them. And we can also disseminate that information to our members so that they can block the IP addresses as well.”

Criminals are responsible for most cyber attacks, Rodriguez said, but some are attempts by foreign government-sponsored groups to glean information and disrupt systems.

“It is difficult to identify the attackers, but what we focus most on is disseminating information and threat information,” he said. “Because the attacks and the actors are pervasive — they will continue to try to test our systems, and what we’re trying to do is raise those barriers to entry.”

The state is encouraging widespread adoption of cyber-security measures.

Residents who think they’ve been a victim of a cyber attack are urged to report it to the state at Cyber.NJ.gov.

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