Individual states play a pivotal role in developing and securing critical cybersecurity infrastructure.
For the past several years there has been a focus by cybersecurity organizations and groups to help support states become more active and engaged in cybersecurity issues. The reason is that states provide a key link between legislative action and infrastructure control and management at a meaningful scale.
Learn more about cybersecurity in your state
- AL Alabama
- NHNew Hampshire
- NJNew Jersey
- NMNew Mexico
- NYNew York
- NCNorth Carolina
- NDNorth Dakota
- RIRhode Island
- SCSouth Carolina
- SDSouth Dakota
- DC Washington, DC
- WVWest Virginia
According to InfoSec Institute, there is a worldwide shortage of nearly 3 million in the ranks of cybersecurity professionals, and about 500,000 in North America alone. Demand for qualified infosec employees significantly outstrips supply in nearly every specialty under the information security umbrella. And the problem is expected to get worse as future demand for infosec resources grows dramatically.
The state-level cybersecurity battleground
As the cybersecurity industry grows and matures — and as individuals, companies, and organizations face increased cyber threats, state governments are ramping up efforts to battle digital crime and protect key infrastructure.
Individual states are well-suited to tackle cybersecurity challenges because:
- States are large enough organizationally to make a significant difference and with legislation, they can compel groups and private sector companies within their borders to adopt best practices.
- States are vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches because they keep vital records and data on their citizens, meaning state governments are interested in developing solutions to cybersecurity threats
- State governments are often the first to respond when there is a disaster or another kind of large-scale incident. Similarly, states need to be prepared for future threats and digital disasters.
- States are a critical relay between local governments and the federal government, but they are already tasked with controlling, defending, and regulating critical infrastructure (like electricity, water, wastewater, etc.) — meaning they can retool to provide oversight to digital infrastructure too.
Cybersecurity training for the future
Another thing that defines individual states is the depth and breadth of educational opportunities.
There is an alarming shortage of well-trained cybersecurity workers across the country. And through university and community college systems, states are in the best position to help create and fund the training and degree programs that will help shape the future of cybersecurity.
Ultimately it is the decisions made at the state government level that will help define the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.