Voting security is a top priority, especially after evidence emerged that cyber hackers linked to the Russian government tried to infiltrate American election infrastructure in 2016.
The bill calls for the reservists to be unpaid volunteers during training but paid when put into active duty — generally the same rates paid to officers and enlisted personnel in the Armed Forces.
Cyber reservists would be under the Ohio Adjutant General as a civilian force, not subject to deployment into military service by the federal government.
Reservists would be called into action in the event of an attack but also asked to work with local governments on best practices for cyber defense, LaRose said in testimony supporting the bill.
The bill is also backed by Major General John C. Harris, the Ohio Adjutant General. The guard has “cyber warriors” who bring expertise from their civilian jobs to their military service but “Ohio’s cyber experts are over missioned and understaffed,” Harris said in written testimony.
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In January, the Ohio National Guard helped the city of Akron respond to a ransomeware attack.
“We under constant assault from cyber criminals. And Ohio is not immune,” Harris said.
He noted the Michigan and Wisconsin each established cyber reserves but with mixed results. Ohio’s plan would address those shortfalls, he said.
Harris estimated it would cost $3,000 a day to deploy a cyber response team, which is far less than the $4-million average cost of a data breach at a business.
PART 2 OF 2
This story is part of a special project looking at the safety of your vote. If you missed the stories in Thursday’s paper, you can find them at DaytonDailyNews.com. Our reporters Laura Bischoff and Chris Stewart looked at what action the state is taking to insure Ohio’s voting machines are safe and also talked to county leaders about new machines that may be used as early as this November.