What State Leaders Need to Know About Cybersecurity

Originally Featured on Governing

As a former state chief information security officer for both Colorado and California, and the federal Department of Homeland Security’s first deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity, one of my continuing tasks was working with state lawmakers and state government executives to help them understand the multitude of issues in the cybersecurity arena. Because legislative bodies turn over fairly frequently, this was a never-ending responsibility that I took seriously and to which I devoted a significant amount of time, and still do.

State legislators and executives have formidable responsibilities to govern on complex and often technical cybersecurity issues that most have had very little experience with. The cybersecurity space is incredibly dynamic, with the threat and vulnerability environment changing almost daily, so these leaders are constantly weighing the law of unintended consequences as they address public safety on one hand and over-regulation of business on the other.

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