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West Virginia bolsters cybersecurity on personal data

An executive order centralizes and expands cybersecurity oversight and governance around personally identifiable information, enabling new data sharing opportunities for state agencies.

Jason Shueh
Jason Shueh Tech Editor

Jason Shueh is a tech editor at StateScoop with a specialty for civic tech and smart city news. His articles and writing have covered numerous subj...

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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order last week calling for increased security around personally identifiable data, with special attention given to residents' personal health information.

Justice directed the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management to use its resources to ensure private information of West Virginians is not compromised. The May 24 order also centralized some cybersecurity operations by instructing state Chief Technology Officer John Dunlap in the Office of Technology to oversee electronic records privacy across all state agencies. This effort will be guided by a Cyber Security Team that, among other tasks, will design strategies to prevent intrusions and develop security working groups for staff training.

Organizationally, the order further centralizes state cyber initiatives by giving the board the power to manage the State Privacy Office — formerly managed by the Department of Health and Human Resources' Health Care Authority. The office is responsible for drafting policies and providing research and analysis on privacy issues and will house a new Privacy Management Team with appointed representatives from each department-level organization in the state's executive branch.

“Incorporating the State Privacy Office into the organization of BRIM is an efficient and logical blending of core functions since BRIM already exists to protect the state against risks and has been instrumental in enabling West Virginia to be one of the first states to administer cyber-liability insurance for its government agencies,” said Cabinet Secretary John Myers of the Department of Administration — that contains both BRIM and the Office of Technology.

Like many states, West Virginia also wanted to take advantage of collaboration between agencies and businesses, Justice said, who emphasized the importance of sharing threat intelligence between West Virginia businesses and agencies.

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States, West Virginia, State & Local News, Legislation, Management & Workforce, Privacy, Public Safety, Tech News, Cybersecurity

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