County Cybersecurity and Tech

- 4:39

with Phil Bertolini, Deputy County Executive and Chief Information Officer, Oakland County, Michigan


Dec 22, 2017

According to the 2016 Norton Cyber Security Insights report, 689 million people in 21 countries experienced cybercrime.  While many are affected by cyber security issues, there still remains a lack of awareness surrounding its effect on smaller communities.  Phil Bertolini, Deputy County Executive and Chief Information Officer for Oakland County, Michigan discusses the importance of cyber security and disaster preparedness. Interview recorded November 30, 2017. 

Produced by: National Newsmakers Team

Read a partial transcript of this interview below:

Traynham:  Oakland County, Michigan, has invested deeply in cybersecurity and disaster preparedness, and the benefits of this innovation now extend all across the state. Hello and welcome to ""Comcast Newsmakers."" I'm Robert Traynham. My guest is Phil Bertolini, Deputy County Executive and Chief Information Officer for Oakland County, Michigan. Phil is one of the 2017 Governing magazine Public Officials of the Year. Phil, welcome to the program.

Bertolini: Thank you, Robert. Thanks for having me.

Traynham: So, let's talk a little bit about what you do on a daily basis in the county.

Bertolini:  We work diligently to be very collaborative with other governments, and under the leadership of our County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson, we have taken our ability to be technologically savvy, innovative, and we've moved it across the state. What we've done is we created two different initiatives. One is G2G Cloud Solutions, and the other is the G2G Marketplace. The G2G Cloud Solutions, we're actually providing e-commerce technologies to 81 different governmental entities across the state of Michigan. They save by being able to use it at a lower cost, and then we benefit by having a more robust technology. The Marketplace was a natural -- Afterwards, the Marketplace became important because we needed a portal to collaborate with other governments. So, we have over 750 people that have joined the Marketplace from all across the United States, and even as far away as Guam.

Traynham: So, how does that affect cybersecurity?

Bertolini:  Well, cybersecurity is not something you can do on your own. And it's such an ever-changing world we have, because the cyber attacks are coming so fast and furious. We have to collaborate. We have to work together. So, in many cases, we're collaborating with other governments to make sure, one, they stay safe. But everything we learn from them -- it helps us stay safe.

Traynham: So, it sounds like best practices. It sounds like you're literally learning as you're going along and taking those best practices and applying it for the future.

Bertolini: Sure, and it's a war that'll never end.

Traynham: Yeah.

Bertolini: Cybersecurity's gonna continue to be our number-one issue in all of our governmental entities, and we have to collaborate to make it work.

Traynham:  You know, Phil, you know this better than I do, but it seems like country governments are literally ground zero when it comes to first responders. In fact, by the definition, they are first responders in many ways. How do you plan? How do you fund? How do you anticipate a future disaster, if you will?

Bertolini: That's interesting you ask that question, Robert, because we just had a large water main break that took 300,000 people and put them without water. And people will say, "Yeah, but you worry about tornadoes, or you're worrying about large storms or big fires." When a water main breaks and 300,000 people don't have water, that means nursing homes don't have water, hospitals don't have water, all the vulnerable populations don't have water. So, we have to constantly prepare.

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