Colorado Springs, Colorado – The National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) is launching a nationwide awareness initiative aimed at training state lawmakers and their staff in all 50 states on best practices in cybersecurity. The initiative, Cybersecurity for State Leaders, is supported by Google, and will include live virtual forums and interactive, on-demand workshops nationwide.

Cybersecurity for State Leaders launches with the bipartisan signing of the initiative’s Cyber Charter by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-OH) and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D-CO). This nonpartisan training curriculum will prepare lawmakers and statehouse staff to be vigilant against cyber threats by offering a deep dive into: the ecosystem of cybersecurity, common types of cyber attacks, how and why cyber attacks work, and best practices on how to protect individuals against cyber threats.

By signing the charter, Secretary LaRose and Secretary Griswold commit to promoting a stronger culture of cybersecurity awareness in their offices and throughout their state and to be ambassadors for Cybersecurity for State Leaders.

“Cybersecurity is more important than ever with businesses, government, and private individuals falling victim to digital attacks everyday,” Forrest Senti, Cybersecurity for State Leaders Program Lead, NCC said. “Cybersecurity for State Leaders is a critical initiative that will help state leaders in all fifty states arm themselves and their teams with best practices to safeguard themselves and their constituents against cyber threats.

In addition to leaders from each state, the forums will include participation from national figures in security in both the public and private sector, including Investor on ABC’s Shark Tank and Founder and CEO of Herjavec Group Robert Herjavec, former State Department Spokesperson and Undersecretary of State for Public Affairs Heather Nauert, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chief Information Security Officer for the Information Security Division of the U.S. Small Business Administration James Saunders, representatives from Google, IBM, Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program, and more.

“Americans must have confidence in their elections. That can’t happen if we aren’t vigilant in our defense of the digital systems that make up our election infrastructure,” said LaRose. “Here in Ohio, we’ve set a new national standard for cybersecurity. With the signing of the National Cybersecurity Center cyber charter, we’re re-dedicating ourselves to expanding and evolving the best practices that have made our state a leader.”  said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R).

“Cyber-attacks are one of the biggest threats posed to our nation, targeting the business community, federal, state, and local government, as well as individuals. We all must remain vigilant to cyber threats, which is why I’m proud to join Cybersecurity for State Leaders with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to raise awareness of the threats posed by cyber breaches and the need to utilize smart cybersecurity practices.” added Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D).

Cybersecurity is more important than ever as evidenced by governments more frequently falling victim to attacks. This initiative takes training directly to the frontlines of our democracy and ensures state lawmakers are well versed on the threat environment as well as how to mitigate and protect against potential attacks.

For more information on Cybersecurity for State Leaders, visit https://cyberforstateleaders.org/.

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The National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) is a non-profit organization established for cyber innovation and awareness. Established in 2016 from the vision of United States Senator from Colorado John Hickenlooper, in coordination with several people from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) and the community, the NCC serves both public and private organizations and individuals through training, education and research. Discover NCC at https://cyber-center.org.