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Governing Institute: State Legislators Cite Education, Low Funds as Cyber Issues

cybersecurityEighty percent of 103 state legislators and staffers that responded to a Governing Institute-led survey identified cybersecurity as a top priority for them but 80 percent are unsure if their state governments have a plan in place for cyber emergency incident responses.

Seventy-two percent of respondents placed their state’s cyber risk level between moderate and high but only 18 percent of surveyed lawmakers are members of a committee specifically mandated to address cybersecurity issues, the Governing Institute said Monday.

AT&T and the National Cyber Security Alliance worked with the Governing Institute to carry out the survey.

“The purpose of the survey was to examine current baseline cybersecurity knowledge of state elected and appointed officials in order to identify educational needs regarding this topic,” said Todd Sander, Governing Institute vice president of research.

“We found that, although legislators know the risks are high, many are not as involved as they could be and significant cybersecurity gaps remain.”

Forty-three percent of respondents said their state has inadequate cybersecurity funds, half said their locations do not have enough cyber workers and 43 percent cited lack of understanding about risks to computer networks as an issue.

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