nationwide cybersecurity

NGA taps 4 states for cybersecurity policy academy

The National Governors Association has selected four states to work with it on advancing whole-of-state cybersecurity practices.

Kansas, Missouri, Montana and Washington were chosen by the NGA’s Center for Best Practices for its 2021 Policy Academy. This cybersecurity initiative is the most recent NGA effort to help states and territories develop, refine and share lessons learned.

In this year’s policy academy, teams from Kansas and Missouri will focus on cyber governance, Montana will focus on cybersecurity workforce development and Washington will focus on state-local government cybersecurity partnerships. The goal is for the states to pilot best practices relevant for all state and territorial governments.

Representatives from the states will develop action plans for strengthening state cybersecurity, participate in regular meetings with NGA staff and learn from other states facing similar challenges.

“Cybersecurity remains constant concern for Governors and other elected officials, policymakers, business leaders and citizens,” NGA said in its announcement. Criminals and foreign adversaries continue to exploit software vulnerabilities and human error to steal confidential data, disrupt critical services, and endanger the public welfare.”

“As a leader in the innovation economy, Washington state recognizes its future is not just based on new digital technologies, but also trust in robust cybersecurity and strong collaboration between all levels of government,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said. “I believe this is a great opportunity to help our state improve its security posture.”

The NGA promulgates outcomes, promising practices and lessons learned from its policy academies to all 55 state, commonwealth, and territorial governors across the country. It launched a resource center for state cybersecurity to give governors the tools and recommendations they need to craft and implement effective state cybersecurity policies and practices. It features resources on governance, response planning, critical infrastructure, election security infrastructure, workforce development, cybercrime and state and local partnerships.

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