The National Governors Association (NGA) has confirmed that Indiana is one of five territories that will participate in its latest cybersecurity initiative, which is likely to run until January 2022 as a part of the NGA’s 2021 Policy Academy to Advance Whole-of-State Cybersecurity protocol.
Indiana’s Unique Position in the Initiative
A collaboration between NGA experts and the five chosen regions is designed to help develop advanced and agile whole-of-state cybersecurity postures. Each of the chosen states will focus on a different aspect of the initiative. Indiana’s role will revolve around state-local partnerships in cybersecurity.
The Hoosier State is joined in the initiative by Kansas, Missouri (both focused on cyber governance), Montana (cybersecurity workforce development), and Washington (state-local government partnerships in cybersecurity).
Indiana was previously selected as a representative of the 2018 NGA’s Cybersecurity Academy that resulted in the development of an Emergency Manager Cybersecurity protocol. In the latest collaboration, NGA authorities will work with state officials to implement strategies that can subsequently help every Fort Wayne IT company or Hoosier organization, as well as employees, clients, and end-users.
The state’s Chief Information Officer, Tracy Barnes said: “Cybersecurity is essential to the future stability and economic success of our nation, Hoosiers, and Hoosier businesses. Supporting local government is the foundation upon which our state’s critical infrastructure is built and must be protected.”
A Decade of Increased Cyber Protection
In a world where online threats are growing by the day, the NGA has placed a heavy focus on its Policy Academy to Advance Whole-of-State Cybersecurity. In fact, the Resource Center for State Cybersecurity, which is chaired by governors John Bel Edwards (Louisiana) and Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas), was launched in 2012.
While huge strides have been taken over the past 10 years, the initiative that sees out the initiative’s first decade is perhaps one of the most significant for preventing data breaches, software exploitation, disruptions, and the problems that can subsequently surface for businesses, civilians, residents, and policymakers.
Indiana’s cybersecurity program director Chetrice Mosley-Romero labels the move an: “opportunity to build on the significant progress that’s been achieved through the work completed by the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity (IECC). It is a framework that began with the contributions of more than 250 leaders from across the state and continues to move forward, further strengthening the posture of our cyber readiness.
By working together, we can establish long-term, protection strategies, along with the added knowledge and infrastructure to safeguard against such threats.”
The state of Indiana is one of the leading states in relation to workforce development reports and toolkits for Hoosier businesses. However, the initiative is about more than a single region and is built to provide nationwide protection against regional, domestic, and international threats alike.
Indiana’s cybersecurity experts will be joined by representatives of the other four states, as well as the NRA, at scheduled meetings to provide updates on in-state findings and developments. The collaborative efforts aim to pull the combined insights from in-state workshops and action plans to spearhead fast-tracked progress in the nation’s bid to beat cybercriminals.