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Meet the Threat: States Join Forces to Develop Innovative Cybersecurity Strategies

The goal of the "Meet the Threat" initiative is to best position all states and territories to meet the cyberthreat.

On Oct. 5 in Boston, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe unveiled an initiative aimed at developing state strategies for strengthening cybersecurity practices — and nearly 30 states have joined the cause.

At the first of several National Governor's Association (NGA) regional summits dedicated to furthering Meet the Threat objectives, McAuliffe's initiative as chair of the NGA, he said the goal is to replicate the work done in Virginia to best position all states and territories for meeting the cyberthreat — and to connect policy leaders from every state with private-sector experts and federal partners to highlight innovative practices and identify ways state-driven solutions can be replicated nationwide.

“I know firsthand from my work in Virginia that governors and states play a critical role in confronting the ever-growing and sophisticated challenge of cyberattacks," he said at the summit, adding that the Meet the Threat website will serve as a library of resources for states. "As the year progresses, we will add to the library and encourage state policymakers to use it."

The next regional summit will be held in San Jose, Calif., in spring of 2017, and the initiative will conclude in Virginia with the National Summit on State Cybersecurity. This final summit, McAuliffe said, will bring together representatives from each state, commonwealth and territory to share best practices and lessons learned.

"These are ambitious goals. With your engagement, however, I know we can succeed," he said. "The initiative has the potential to shape the nation’s response to the growing cyberthreats we face by underscoring the critical role state leaders play in securing the cyberenvironment."