In a piece that appeared in Florida Politics, 1966 Furman alumnus J. Michael “Mike” McConnell describes the increased threat to public services that comes with a dependence on information technology. The executive director of the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (aka Cyber Florida) based at the University of South Florida, says the failed cyber attack on the Oldsmar, Florida, water treatment plant was a “wake-up call” to lawmakers and policymakers alike.
In support of funding from the state to shore up cybersecurity defenses, McConnell wrote, “I can tell you that the cyber threats upon which the [Florida Cybersecurity] Task Force’s recommendations are based are real, the steps that the state proposes to take are critical, and those steps are well worth the proposed funding.”
Former U.S. National Intelligence Director, McConnell (VADM USN-retired) earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Furman and a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the National Defense University and the National Defense Intelligence College.