AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 44) – Gov. Greg Abbott has announced a statewide model security plan for Texas state agencies to address vulnerabilities presented by the use of TikTok and other software on personal and state-issued devices.
This comes following the Governor’s directive – the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Information Resources developed this model plan to guide state agencies on managing personal and state-issued devices used to conduct state business. Each state agency will have until Feb. 15 to implement its own policy to enforce this statewide plan.
To protect Texas’ sensitive information and critical infrastructure from potential threats, the model plan outlines the following objectives for each agency:
- Ban and prevent the download or use of TikTok and prohibited technologies on any state-issued device identified in the statewide plan. This includes all state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices of capable of internet connectivity. Each agency’s IT department must strictly enforce this ban.
- Prohibit employees or contractors from conducting state business on prohibited technology-enabled personal devices.
- Identify sensitive locations, meetings, or personnel within an agency that could be exposed to prohibited technology-enabled personal devices. Prohibited technology-enabled personal devices will be denied entry or use in these sensitive areas.
- Implement network-based restrictions to prevent the use of prohibited technologies on agency networks by any device.
- Work with information security professionals to continuously update the list of prohibited technologies.
In December 2022, Abbott directed state agency leaders to immediately ban employees from downloading or using TikTok on any government-issued devices. He also informed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan that the Executive Branch is ready to assist in codifying and implementing any necessary cybersecurity reforms passed during the current legislative session – including passing legislation to make permanent the Governor’s directive to state agencies.
Abbott has taken significant action to combat threats to Texas’ cybersecurity – including signing the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act in 2021 to fortify certain physical infrastructure against threats including hostile foreign actors.
For more information, you can view the statewide model security plan here.