National Governors Association Chair Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivered a keynote address as part of the first regional summit for his chair’s initiative, Meet The Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge. The initiative focuses on developing state strategies for strengthening cybersecurity practices as they relate to state IT networks, health care, education, safety, energy, transportation and critical infrastructure, and economic development and the workforce. Nearly 30 states and territories were represented at the summit.
“The aim of my initiative as NGA chair is to replicate the work we have done in Virginia to best position all states and territories for meeting the cyber threat,” Gov. McAuliffe said. “I know firsthand from my work in Virginia that governors and states play a critical role in confronting the ever-growing and sophisticated challenge of cyber attacks.”
In his remarks, Gov. McAuliffe also highlighted the recent roundtables held on education and workforce, health, critical infrastructure, autonomy and internet of things (IOT). The roundtables were attended by nearly 40 cyber CEOs and experts in the various areas from the public and private sector.
On Monday, Gov. McAuliffe challenged all of his fellow governors to issue a state proclamation declaring October Cybersecurity Awareness Month, as he has done in Virginia.
One session at the summit, “Threat Briefing: Scope of the Threat,” examined threats confronting states and the need to improve state cybersecurity postures to mitigate those threats. That session was led by Suzanne Spaulding, the Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. The summit, which concludes Friday, will also include plenary sessions on health, education sector and election security.
“Our aggressive approach to grow our cyber sector is a central part of our work to build a new Virginia economy that is diverse and capable of withstanding the uncertainty of sequestration and federal budget fluctuations,” Gov. McAuliffe said.
The goal of the regional summits is to bring together policy leaders from every state, as well as private sector experts and federal partners, to highlight innovative practices and identify ways in which state-driven solutions can be replicated nationwide. The next regional summit will be held in San Jose, California, in the spring of 2017.
To learn more about Gov. McAuliffe’s initiative, visit nga.org/MeetTheThreat