La, Ark. governors to lead National Cybersecurity Summit

Updated: May. 14, 2019 at 9:35 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will preside over this year’s National Summit on State Cybersecurity in Shreveport.

The event begins today, Tuesday, May 14, and is being held at the Shreveport Convention Center in downtown Shreveport.

Both men are co-chairs on the National Governors Association’s Resource Center for State Cybersecurity.

Craig Spohn is the Executive Director of the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City.

“We’re producing new legislation in the current session that’s going on to protect businesses, people and government from, essentially, the equivalent of trespassing, but in the cyber domain," Spohn said. "Those laws don’t exist throughout the nation.”

Gov. Hutchinson is a co chair on the NGA’s Resource Center for State Cybersecurity. That group provides states and territories with tools and policy guidance to help craft and implement effective state cybersecurity policies and practices.

“On any given day, the guardians of Arkansas’s systems block thousands of attempted attacks from all over the world. The bad guys never rest,” Gov. Hutchinson said in a news release. “Good stewardship of our state’s resources includes guarding the gates into our systems and protecting the information. This summit will be an excellent time to sharpen our knowledge.”

Spohn added that state government systems are particularly vulnerable.

“State governments get used by foreign nation states and foreign non-nation states for a variety of things,” Spohn added. "They take over computers because they’re not as well protected as they should be, because they’re public servers. Those servers are more easily manipulated for nefarious purposes.”

Spohn said that people don’t think that they’ll be victims of hacking — but it’ll happen to everyone.

"Whether it’s a home computer or it’s a work environment or a government office, we’re all subject to that kind of vulnerability.”

The first NGA nationwide summit was held in 2015 in San Jose, California. The second was held in Leesburg, Virginia.

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