Rhode Island hires first cybersecurity officer

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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo. (Photo Credit: Jim Jones via Wikipedia Commons)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Gov. Gina Raimondo has appointed Rhode Island’s first cybersecurity officer.

Mike Steinmetz began working this week as the Democratic governor’s top policy adviser on cybersecurity. His job is to develop a statewide security strategy and be a homeland security adviser for the state.

He has worked for utility provider National Grid’s digital risk and security division. The governor’s office says he has also worked for the U.S. Defense Department, directing computer network operations for three combatant commanders; and for the National Security Agency, where he was deputy chief of staff for a cyber-related organization.

A state cybersecurity commission in 2015 had recommended hiring someone to coordinate the security of the state’s computer networks. Raimondo formed the commission to help the state improve its practices and attract more cybersecurity jobs.