It may seem like cyber security isn’t on the top of the government’s radar, but there are definitely steps being taken, at least on the state level, to counte these threats. According to GovTech, The 2017 National Governors Association focused its attention on “comprehensive state cyber security.” At the mid-July conference, 39 governors signed the ‘Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity.’ The effort was led by Virignia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who also served as the NGA chair.
Timothy Blute, who is program director for NGA’s Homeland Security and Public Safety Division, pointed out that signing the compact is obviously no final solution for the problem, but it is a good place to start.
“Last summer, at the NGA summer meeting, we released a compact on opioid abuse, and what we found was that it was a great way to sort of garner governor-level attention on the topic and really have governors commit to, a) recognizing the problem and b) implementing best practices,” Blute explained to Government Technology.
The article explains that the compact “calls for the adherence to three main tenants: building cybersecurity governance, which includes creating a formal structure, statewide strategy and conducting risk assessments; preparing and defending against cyber events, which includes creating a disruption plan, information sharing and coordination with the National Guard and the public; and growing the nation’s cybersecurity workforce, which includes reclassifying state jobs to better align with the private sector, placing veterans in cyber positions and partnerships with colleges and universities.”
Hopefully the 39 states involved in the compact will hold to its tenants, and across the board, cyber security will improve in the United States. The NGA will be releasing a report next July detailing the states’ progress.