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Louisiana State of Emergency: Ransomware, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity Take Spotlight

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a state of emergency due to a ransomware-related malware attack against several local schools. The declaration represents the first activation of Louisiana’s emergency support function relating to cybersecurity.

The state of emergency declaration authorizes Louisiana agencies, boards, commissions and officers to cooperate with actions the state takes in response to the malware attack. It also makes available state resources and allows for assistance from cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, Office of Technology Services and others to assist local governments in responding to and preventing future data loss.

A Closer Look at the Louisiana Malware Attack

Louisiana officials recently were made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems, Bel Edwards said. They are currently coordinating a response to the malware attack and focused on helping local governments manage incident response.

In addition, Louisiana’s Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has activated its Crisis Action Team and the Emergency Services Function-17 to coordinate response to the cybersecurity incident. Louisiana officials also are working with the FBI, state agencies and higher education partners as part of their incident response efforts.

Edwards announced the formation of the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission two years ago. The commission was created to help state schools and other organizations combat cyberattacks and provides cybersecurity research and support.

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