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Cybersecurity continues to be a top focus of state CIOs, in fact, state legislatures and executives have made efforts to increase their states’ cyber preparedness. Large scale policy projects are under way through the National Governors Association Chair and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s initiative, “Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge” and the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Task Force on Cybersecurity.
While a handful of states have held hearings, or considered legislation regarding cyber workforce and governance, much of the state activity has been at the administrative level—until this year. In May, the Texas legislature sent to the Governor HB 8, the Texas Cybersecurity Act, which sets forth certain requirements all agencies will be required to follow relating to cybersecurity, including assessing state agency vulnerability to cyberattacks, increasing efforts to protect sensitive and confidential data, narrowing the workforce skills gap, and ensuring agencies have incident response plans.
CompTIA was particularly pleased to support this bill and helped draft provisions that strengthened continuing education and industry-recognized certifications for state employees. The bill prioritizes workforce development and closing the IT skills gap to help the state build a more confident, skilled workforce by adding routine cyber hygiene training for state agency personnel and requiring continuing education for cyber-related personnel.
CompTIA applauds the leadership of the bill’s author, Rep. Giovanni Capriglione for recognizing the importance of cybersecurity and filing the bill. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on June and will become public law in September 2017. We look forward to the implementation of HB 8 during the legislative interim and the opportunity to continue to advance effective cybersecurity policy through our position on the Texas Cybersecurity Advisory Council. For more information on this initiative, contract Sarah Matz at email@example.com.
Sarah Matz is Director, State Government Affairs – South