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Ohio National Guard Accepting Applications for Cyber Security Force

photo of national guardsman at computer
DAN KONIK
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
The Cyber Reserve will work with members of Ohio National Guard.

The state is now taking applications from civilians with internet and high tech security skills to join a special unit in the Ohio National Guard. The Ohio Cyber Reserve is a group of volunteers that would be trained to handle potential cyber-attacks on the government, infrastructure, or businesses.

Members of the Ohio Cyber Reserve would be on standby, and would be granted leave from work and compensated if called into active duty.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the reserve can play a vital role in fighting potential threats to elections. As LaRose explained, if a foreign country mounted a physical attack on a local government, then the National Guard would step in. He said the state should treat cyber-attacks in the same manner.

"In the virtual world we are now able to respond with the best protection that we have."

Several city and county governments have reported attacks by hackers demanding ransom, including Akron and Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport. Businesses around the state have also reported ransomware attacks.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.