The National Governors Association (NGA) announced today it will partner with Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Washington to work on policies to advance NGA’s whole-of-state cybersecurity postures.

The four states will be part of the 2021 Policy Academy to Advance Whole-of-State Cybersecurity. The academy is part of a larger NGA effort to help states and territories develop and share best practices in cybersecurity governance, workforce development, critical infrastructure security, and local engagement and partnership. The initiative is run by the NGA Center for Best Practices, co-chaired by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

For the initiative, representatives from each state will convene in-state workshops to create action plans for strengthening state cybersecurity. Additionally, the representatives will report to NGA staff on their progress and action plans. To help breakdown state silos, participants will also work with representatives from the other states to both build relationships and learn from peers dealing with similar cybersecurity challenges.

NGA said it will work with Kansas and Missouri on cyber governance, Montana on cybersecurity workforce development, and Washington on state and local government partnerships in cybersecurity. The 2021 academy is expected to conclude in January 2022.

For the 2020 academy, NGA worked with seven states, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. In 2019, NGA worked with Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, and Virginia.

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

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs