States Take a Comprehensive Approach to Improving Cybersecurity

Governors are not traditionally known for their vast knowledge of IT systems or the importance of cybersecurity, but that stereotype seems to be giving way and leading to progressive discussions and leadership opportunities. Last year, the National Governors Association (NGA) turned its collective attention to fighting the nationwide opioid epidemic and outlining some best practices and next steps. This year, they focused their attention to a different challenge: comprehensive state cybersecurity. At the annual meeting of NGA in mid-July, 39 governors signed a compact — dubbed the Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity — aimed at better positioning their respective states around cybersecurity. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who had served as the association’s chair until the meeting, had spearheaded the Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge initiative, which culminated in a multistate agreement to continue their cybersecurity endeavors. Timothy Blute, program director for the NGA’s Homeland Security and Public Safety Division, said the signing of the compact is by no means the end of the overarching effort to better secure states through best practices; rather, it’s a jumping off point for continued commitment on the part of state leaders. “Last summer, at the NGA summer meeting, we released a…

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