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  • The San Juan Daily Star

PRITS turned away 600 cyberattacks in 2022


The Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service provided support to the Puerto Rico

Highway Authority with the ransomware that impacted Autoexpreso operations, and

also aided the Office of Legislative Services and the Municipality of Vega Alta, among

others, executive director Nannette Martínez said.


By THE STAR STAFF


The Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service (PRITS) identified and stopped 600 cyberattacks against government servers and computers in 2022, the agency said in a statement this week.


PRITS provided support to the Puerto Rico Highway Authority with the ransomware that impacted Autoexpreso operations, and also aided the Office of Legislative Services and the Municipality of Vega Alta, among others.


PRITS, which seeks to improve government cybersecurity, has a goal of eventually hiring 100 additional workers to join the 48 employees working at the agency.


Currently, PRITS’ organizational structure has two key concepts that undergird the agency’s main goals and purposes: citizen-centered and secure technology, and collaboration between entities.


“These concepts are the main elements in all the initiatives that we have managed to implement since last year, as well as those that are in the development and launch stage,” PRITS Executive Director Nannette Martínez said in the agency statement.


In May of last year, the full-service Security Operations Center (SOC) was inaugurated with centralized monitoring of cybersecurity events in government agencies. The monitoring includes alerts of suspicious activity in the networks and in user accounts, and the detection of and protection against attacks on devices.


In an effort to improve the security of government agencies, PRITS signed an agreement last July with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to invest $7.6 million to increase protection of government computers and servers, according to the report.


“Thanks to an investment of $7.6 million for the protection of computers and servers, which includes 24/7/365 monitoring services by the SOC of the Multi-State Information Sharing Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), the government of Puerto Rico is more protected than ever against cyber attacks,” Martínez said.


“In the detection and response to incidents, we have the collaboration of authorities such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and the [commonwealth] Department of Public Safety (DSP),” she added. “All these actions contribute to improving the ability to detect and respond to cyber threats, and it is projected that by 2023 PRITS will be able to identify more cyber security incidents than in previous years.”


The island government’s Cyber Security Program was adopted from the framework of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a government agency headquartered in Maryland, to improve cyber security in critical infrastructures, and from the v7 controls of the nonprofit Center for Internet Security in New York state.

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