National Governors Association Selects 5 States for Academy on Cybersecurity Policy

Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Montana and Washington to Work on Cybersecurity Governance, Workforce Development, State-Local Partnerships

Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Montana and Washington have been selected to work with the National Governors Association (NGA) on policies to advance their whole-of-state cybersecurity postures, the latest in a series of collaborations between NGA and states on cybersecurity.

The NGA Center for Best Practices selected the five states for its 2021 Policy Academy to Advance Whole-of-State Cybersecurity, the most recent in NGA’s ongoing efforts since 2016 to help states and territories develop, refine and share best practices in cybersecurity governance, workforce development, critical infrastructure security, and local engagement and partnership.

Representatives of the five 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.

In the new policy academy, which is expected to conclude in January 2022, NGA will work with five states on the following focus areas:

  • Indiana: state-local government partnerships in cybersecurity
  • Kansas: cyber governance
  • Missouri: cyber governance
  • Montana: cybersecurity workforce development
  • Washington: state-local government partnerships in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity remains constant concern for Governors and other elected officials, policymakers, business leaders and citizens. Criminals and foreign adversaries continue to exploit software vulnerabilities and human error to steal confidential data, disrupt critical services, and endanger the public welfare. The NGA Center created the Resource Center for State Cybersecurity in 2012, currently co-chaired by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, to help Governors confront these threats and promote a mature cyber risk posture in their states.

In 2020, NGA selected seven states to participate in a new project focused on implementing best practices on advancing statewide cybersecurity. The previous year, NGA named six states for a policy academy to develop plans for refining and implementing promising practices in cybersecurity operations to ensure the integrity of elections in their states.