Columbus -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine launched two new advisory boards Sept. 29, one aimed at helping businesses protect themselves from hackers, the other focused on collection practices for student debt.
Both new panels had their initial meetings in Columbus.
The CyberOhio effort includes information officers from companies, universities and other agencies, who will provide guidance to the attorney general's office on online security issues.
"Every day cyber criminals launch sophisticated cyber attacks targeting Ohio businesses and the personal information of Ohioans," DeWine said. "If Ohio's businesses are victimized by hackers, they suffer millions of dollars in damage and Ohio consumers are placed at risk Cyber criminals are an ever-growing threat that needs to be addressed."
The attorney general's office also will work with lawmakers to draft legislation to assist businesses and consumers who are dealing with hacking incidents. And a business summit is planned for next year to provide training for small businesses.
Additionally, DeWine announced the identity theft unit of his office will expand to help businesses with cyber security and data privacy.
"The goal of CyberOhio is simple: to provide the best legal, technical and collaborative cyber security environment possible to help Ohio businesses thrive," DeWine said. "I believe that by helping protect Ohio businesses, we in fact help protect the privacy and security of all Ohio residents."
DeWine announced his new Advisory Group on Student Loan Debt Collection earlier this month, but that group had its first meeting on Sept. 29.
Topics to be discussed will include whether students are being adequately educated about the responsibilities that come with school loans and the uniformity of debt-collection practices by universities that are owed money.
"We want this group to look at a lot of different things," DeWine said. "First and foremost, I think, would be are young people getting enough advice and warnings when they take these debts out? How are the collection practices working, what are the students being charged, what is the reasonable amount to be charged for the collection process?"
He added, "Student debt is a huge issue in this country. It's very important for students who cannot afford to go to college, that they're able to borrow some money, but on the other hand, there are many ex-students, some who never completed their degree, who now have significant debt."
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.