Four states have been chosen by the National Governors Association (NGA) for its 2021 Policy Academy to Advance Whole-of-State Cybersecurity.
Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Washington have all been selected by the NGA Center for Best Practices to work directly with the NGA on cybersecurity governance, workforce development, and government partnership policies.
“Representatives of the four states will convene in-state workshops to create action plans for strengthening state cybersecurity; participate in regularly scheduled convenings with NGA staff on their progress and plans; and build relationships with and learn from peers in other states facing similar challenges,” said a spokesperson for the NGA.
The new academy will run until January 2022. During its operation, Kansas and Missouri will focus on cyber-governance, while Montana tackles cybersecurity workforce development and Washington takes on state–local government partnerships in cybersecurity.
“We’re honored to be chosen to collaborate with NGA for this prestigious academy,” said Kansas governor Laura Kelly.
“With rapid changes in technology and increasing cyber threats—it’s critical that Kansas is prepared to lead and do what we can to keep our systems and our state safe. Strong cybersecurity means a stronger infrastructure—and that is key to keep Kansas on the path forward.”
Washington governor Jay Inslee said: “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.”
To help state governors confront such threats and beef up their defenses, the NGA Center created the Resource Center for State Cybersecurity in 2012.
The number of states selected for this year’s Policy Academy is significantly lower than in the previous two years. In 2019, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, and Virginia were chosen while in 2020, the Academy worked with Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
“Cybersecurity remains a constant concern for governors and other elected officials, policymakers, business leaders and citizens,” said the NGA.
“Criminals and foreign adversaries continue to exploit software vulnerabilities and human error to steal confidential data, disrupt critical services, and endanger the public welfare.”