How states stack up on cyber readiness

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How states stack up on cyber readiness

What:  A new report on state-level cybersecurity readiness from the Pell Center, “The State of the States on Cybersecurity,” focuses on security efforts in California, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Why: With cyberattacks increasingly targeting government, states have a responsibility to secure their critical infrastructure -- including electric power grids, air traffic control systems, financial systems  and communication networks -- as well as the data that has been entrusted to them by their citizens. The Pell Center report evaluates the states on those efforts and explores some of the effective mechanisms states are using to protect infrastructure, information and operations and to promote cybersecurity workforce development and business opportunities.

Findings: The study evaluated the states in five key areas, using a modified version of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Cyber Readiness Index 1.0 that evaluates maturity and commitment to cybersecurity. Ratings were based on whether the states have a plan in each area, have part of a plan in place or have not yet started a plan yet.  The assessed areas are:

  • Cybersecurity strategic planning
  • Incident response
  • E-crime and law enforcement
  • Information sharing and cyber research
  • Education and capacity building

Takeaway:  Although none of the states is completely cyber ready, each is well on the way by creating laws, regulations and standards as well as providing the right set of incentives and assistance for stakeholders.

California, Michigan and Washington have either a full or partial plan in plan in place in all  categories. Michigan New York and Virginia have a plan or a partial plan in all but one category. New Jersey and Maryland lack implemented plans in two categories, while Maryland, New York and Virginia do not yet have online platforms for information sharing.  

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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