By Danielle Dean
President Obama issued an executive order to create the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity in February.
The commission has the authority to issue recommendations on short-term and long-term action items to enhance cyber awareness, establish best practices and identify innovative solutions in both the private and public sector.
The commission is also to receive technical and expert support through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which announced a Request for Information (RFI) from private sector, state and local government and other associations to discuss their experiences on cyber topics.
NCSL submitted a response Sept. 9 to the RFI regarding state governance on subjects of critical infrastructure, cyber insurance, workforce development, identity and access management, public awareness and education.
States are diverse and need flexibility to implement strategies that address the unique challenges of their state.
Legislators are already responding with solutions to better address the challenges facing their digital ecosystems. Accepting cybersecurity as part of its regular oversight and business culture is a valuable step for legislators and federal agencies. Legislators actively combat identity theft, security breaches, spyware, phishing and computer crime and have looked at internal data disposal policies. Given the ubiquity of cybersecurity, from financial sectors to law enforcement and energy sectors, state governments are in the best position to offer specialized, nuanced and targeted solutions tailored to their state needs and top threats.
Critical to that process is the need to discuss different approaches and learn from experts that work in and out of state government. To facilitate that discussion NCSL created its Executive Committee Task Force on Cybersecurity in May 2016 to address the challenges and discuss innovative solutions in the digital realm.
The purpose of the task force is to inform policy leaders on cybersecurity challenges and solutions by tapping into the resource of public partners and private sector leaders, recognizing that the private sector is a sophisticated actor in this space. Members provide essential insights into the challenges facing state legislators, prioritizing discussion points on aspects of cybersecurity and highlighting states’ diverse solutions in the digital realm.
For more information on state cybersecurity efforts, please contact Pam Greenberg. Federal relations questions can be sent to Susan Frederick, Danielle Jarchow and Danielle Dean.
Danielle Dean is a policy specialist with NCSL's Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety Committee.