NASCIO alerts governors to cybersecurity risks
States need to establish statewide information security policies and technical controls that are coordinated with federal initiatives and private sector efforts to protect their information technology (IT) systems, according to a survey of chief information security officers (CISO) released in September by the Lexington, Ky.-based National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). On Friday, NASCIO issued a cybersecurity call to action to alert new and incumbent governors to the September report’s results.
The call to action was timed to coincide with the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, held last week in Washington. During the meeting, governors met with experts to discuss threats facing state governments in cyber space, as well as steps governors may take to better protect their states’ computer networks and electronic systems, according to NASCIO.
The NASCIO call to action outlines the broad parameters of the threats, the criticality of maintaining the operational capabilities of state networks and systems, and base-level requirements for securing the sensitive data that states hold on behalf of citizens. “With 26 new administrations, it’s imperative that new governors and other state policy leaders be aware of the cybersecurity threats that states face on a daily basis,” said Kyle Schafer, NASCIO president and West Virginia CIO. “This call to action is meant to assist state leaders in understanding the threats and developing appropriate process and policy to mitigate risks.”