Connecting state and local government leaders
The National Governors Association suggests ways that these groups can implement effective cybersecurity measures for energy infrastructure and other sectors.
State governance bodies may be the best defense for tackling critical cybersecurity vulnerabilities, suggests a new report released by the National Governors Association. It advises the use of governance bodies—such as councils, task forces, boards, working groups or commissions—to address cybersecurity for critical energy infrastructure and other cyber issues.
The report comes as states face increasing cyberattacks on their digital records, IT networks and infrastructure, such as the failed poisoning attack on a Florida city’s drinking water earlier this year. As states become more reliant on technology, they are left vulnerable to attacks on important infrastructure in the energy and other sectors.
There are eight states highlighted in the report that the NGA says have statewide governance bodies effectively helping protect their critical energy infrastructure: Indiana, Washington, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland and South Carolina. The report said these states’ governance bodies develop recommendations for their governors and lawmakers while providing strategic direction on cybersecurity plans for state agencies and addressing cybersecurity workforce issues, among other things.
If a state has a governing body, the NGA advises it: assesses the state’s cybersecurity landscape and possible threats; develops a strategic plan that improves or addresses cybersecurity challenges; and recommends and constantly advises the governor on cybersecurity issues.
In the report, the association provides ways for a governance body to tackle cybersecurity issues. They include:
- Collecting and sharing best practices with those responsible for the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
- Adding critical infrastructure agencies to the group.
- Establishing an interdependence between neighboring states or counties as well as among critical infrastructure sectors.
- Conducting regular environment surveys and analyzing trends.
- Examining utility companies’ emergency response plans.
To see the full information provided by the report click here.
Brent Woodie is an associate editor at Route Fifty.