Governor McAuliffe signs executive directive to protect against cyber threats

Governor-McAuliffeGovernor Terry McAuliffe today signed Executive Directive 5 to strengthen security measures overseeing personal data involved in transactions between citizens and state government agencies and institutions.

The Governor’s directive makes Virginia the first state to take executive action to ensure that consumer protection goals established by President Obama are adopted in the Commonwealth.

“As Governor, I play a key role and am responsible for ensuring the security of government systems and critical infrastructure within the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “As co-lead of the National Governors Association’s Resource Center on State Cybersecurity, I am keenly aware of the need for best practices and models to help spur states to advance their cybersecurity position and make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to our sensitive data. We must partner with the federal government, the private sector and other states to push innovation and adoption of enhanced electronic payment technologies – by our agencies, our merchants and our citizens – to help reduce credit card fraud. This directive will ensure the highest level of security for transactions conducted between citizens and state agencies.”

Executive Directive 5 instructs the Secretaries of Finance and Technology, along with the State Treasurer and State Comptroller, to embrace advanced electronic payment technologies that meet or exceed federal standards for the Commonwealth’s merchant, prepaid debit card and purchase card programs.

It requires the main purchase card program used by state agencies to have advanced chip security features in place by no later than December 2015.

Governor McAuliffe signed the executive directive at the Virginia Security and Consumer Protection Summit, an event supported by Visa Inc. His action re-enforces an executive order signed in February by President Obama at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection to promote partnership and innovation.

“The Commonwealth’s cyber programs, Executive Directive 5 and today’s summit are aligned with the President’s cybersecurity trajectory for the nation, and Virginia is positioning itself as a model for other states to follow,” said Karen Jackson, Virginia Secretary of Technology.

“There is nothing more important to Visa’s payment network than trust, especially at a time when innovation in the digital world is bringing consumers new ways to pay,” said Ellen Richey, Vice Chairman of Risk and Public Policy, Visa Inc. “Security is a shared responsibility, and it will take collaboration between the public and private sectors to combat cyber threats. Visa is ready to meet this challenge, and we applaud Governor McAuliffe’s leadership in promoting advanced payment security technologies for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are proud to have a large footprint in the Commonwealth and look forward to continuing our partnership to innovate and protect consumers.”

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