McAuliffe: Nation’s cyber defense strategy falls to governors

McAuliffe: Nation’s cyber defense strategy falls to governors

In a Feb. 13 editorial in The Mercury News, Virginia Gov.Terry McAuliffe outlined the need for governors to lead the way on cybersecurity.

McAuliffe has made cybersecurity his top priority as the chair of the National Governors Association, calling the initiative the “Meet the Threat” campaign.

Sharing the byline with the paper’s opinion editor, McAuliffe  noted that states are facing a deluge of cyberattacks that target critical facilities like hospitals and 911 call centers.

“Meanwhile,” McAuliffe wrote, “states are lagging behind their federal counterparts in laying out a comprehensive strategy to protect citizens’ data and the critical digital infrastructure. States are a particularly attractive target because, combined, we hold more data on citizens than the entire federal government.”

Forming a more secure perimeter to prevent cyberattacks will come through public-private partnerships, nurturing a cybersecurity workforce and taking advantage of assets like the National Guard, he wrote.

The nationwide cyber defense effort will be led by governors, McAuliffe said, adding that “it is imperative that the federal government and the new administration work in partnership with us.”

The NGA will hold its winter meeting in Washington, D.C., at the end of February, McAuliffe said, “to discuss our broad policy agenda, with an emphasis on our efforts to shore up our cyber-defense.”

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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