Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Emergency Declaration today, July 24, in response to an ongoing cybersecurity incident that is affected several local government agencies. The declaration makes available state resources and allows for assistance from cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, the Office of Technology Services and others to assist local governments in responding to and preventing future data loss.
The cybersecurity incident has impacted school systems in Sabine, Morehouse, and Ouachita Parishes in North Louisiana. The state is in contact with parish school systems and governments across the state to assess other areas that may be at risk.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has activated its Crisis Action Team and the Emergency Services Function-17 to coordinate the response to this incident. So far, the state is coordinating with the FBI, state agencies, and higher education partners.
Gov. Edwards established the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission in 2017. The organization is a statewide partnership including key stakeholders, subject matter experts, and cybersecurity professionals from the public sector, private industry, academia, and law enforcement.
This is the first activation of Louisiana's emergency support function relating to cybersecurity. The function was created in anticipation of the threat of cyber attacks.
The Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana National Guard, GOHSEP, the state Office of Technology Services, and other agencies are coordinating the response and determining future actions.