Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Wednesday creating a new framework for the commonwealth’s cybersecurity efforts called “Cyber Virginia.”
The executive order creates the Virginia Cyber Security Commission, which will bring together public and private sector efforts to make recommendations on how the commonwealth can become a global leader in cybersecurity.
“Capitalizing on the advantages that Virginia has in the cybersecurity industry is one of my highest priorities,” McAuliffe said. “This executive order will lay the groundwork for my administration’s efforts to make this commonwealth the world’s leader in cybersecurity and the enormous economic opportunities that accompany growing that industry.”
Virginia is already seen as a leader in the cybersecurity space based on its proximity to Washington, D.C., and the large number of private sector organizations that help secure networks for the federal government, including the Defense Department.
Establishing the commission, McAuliffe said, will not only help the Virginia government keep its assets safe but will also help create more high-quality jobs within the commonwealth.
The cybersecurity commission will be composed of both members of the Virginia state government and citizens. The government members will include the secretaries of Technology, Commerce and Trade, Public Safety, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.
McAuliffe will appoint the 11 citizen members of the commission who will have a significant background in cybersecurity. From that group, McAuliffe will name a chair and a vice chair. He also reserves the right to appoint additional people to the commission if he chooses.
The commission will serve in an advisory role and will meet at least three times per year. In addition, the commission will issue an annual report along with any other reports at the request of McAuliffe.
The executive order will remain in effect until this time next year, but can be extended or rescinded by a further executive order if needed.
According to the Virginia Governor’s Office, the commission will have seven primary duties: