Cybersecurity climbs to the top of the agenda in Jacksonville

Cybersecurity climbs to the top of the agenda in Jacksonville

2021-10-05T15:26:35+00:00October 5th, 2021|Healthcare & Life Sciences, Jacksonville, Technology|

Writer: Alejandro Sanchez 

2 min read October 2021— With the world becoming increasingly reliant on technology and online transactions seeing a rapid influx over the last 19 months, cybersecurity has become a focal point for Jacksonville’s public and private institutions. Through proactive and innovative solutions, the city is beginning to emerge as a hub for safer online practices. 

As cybersecurity becomes an essential tool for international trade, The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) has sealed a partnership with the nonprofit Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MTS-ISAC). By sharing relevant information among key national and international parties, the partnership aims to mitigate cybersecurity risks and enhance preparedness in an increasingly digital world. 

“Cybersecurity is a critical part of supply chain security,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green in a press release. “We are thrilled to launch this important initiative to protect our maritime community from cyber threats and ensure that our port-related businesses can continue to do the important work they do to keep cargo moving and people working throughout Northeast Florida.”

In June, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced their plans to allocate $1.2M toward cybersecurity as part of their $513M budget proposal for 2022. Sheriff Mike Williams aims to use the $1.2 million for  tools to prevent ransomware attacks.  While none of the attacks have been successful, Williams said that the sensitivity of the content stored by his office requires a special  investment on cybersecurity.                                          

“This is not a new posture for us. But we didn’t do it as much as we should have last year,” Williams said to the Florida Times Times-Union. “… We literally get thousands and thousands of attempts on our system every week. Some of them may be a weak attempt, but an attempt nonetheless, whether it is a phishing email or sophisticated attempt to do a download to get into the system.”

Jacksonville-based Baptist Health is also doubling down the importance of cybersecurity in the healthcare space by naming Aaron Miri as their first chief digital and information officer.  As an expert in the digital transformation currently being experienced by the industry, Miri understands the importance of keeping digital records safe to avoid the exposure of a patient’s personal information. 

“Healthcare is a large-scale transactional industry with massive amounts of highly sensitive data and strict regulatory requirements,” said Miri during an interview with Healthcare IT News. “Securing the clinical workflow really comes down to figuring out: where your healthcare system’s data is, where that ecosystem is, and what the clinicians do in their workflow – then figuring out how to facilitate and secure it.”

While enhancing cybersecurity becomes a top priority for many public and private institutions in Jacksonville, companies like Emtec Inc. are seeing the opportunity to grow. Recently, the company announced a significant expansion of its workforce and physical space in the city, in addition to securing local partnerships with higher education institutions to promote cybersecurity as an academic discipline among university students.