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Wisconsin establishes committee to enforce cybersecurity

Kaitlyn Riley

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In the digital age, information is easier than ever to access, but could that also mean personal information?

October is Cyber-Security Awareness Month. To recognize an increase in scams, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff announced they will launch a Data Privacy and Security Advisory Committee.

Lara Sutherlin, Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection administrator, said the group will travel around the state through next summer to learn about data privacy and security in area communities.

“It is really likely that we are going to get scammed because of the number of nuanced, new and innovative ways in which people try to steal our personal, identifying information and our data,” Sutherlin said. “Part of the reason for that is that data storage has just grown in today’s marketplace. Some estimates show there will be $102 billion worth of data storage by 2024.”

In the first seven months of 2019 alone, there were 3,800 publically disclosed data breaches and over 4.1 billion compromised records, according to Sutherlin.

“This is a real issue that we want to talk about and grabble with,” Sutherlin said, “and understand where the industry is as well as their readiness and willingness to work on this issue.”

Sutherlin noted those enrolling in Medicare may also be at risk as a common scam is for someone to call and claim they are part of Medicare.

Then, they ask the victim for his or her Medicare number or credit card information. Sutherlin said it is crucial for people to not share such private information.

The Data Privacy and Security Advisory Committee will travel through the summer of 2020. The committee will intend to listen to consumers and people in the industry to learn what they know about data privacy and try to modernize security for today’s marketplace.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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