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State Lawmakers getting crash course in cybersecurity threats and best practices

NCC: Most lawmakers have little to no education in this area
National Cybersecurity Center working to help lawmakers learn about cybersecurity threats and best practices
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 18:46:10-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — An effort to improve the cybersecurity practices of lawmakers in all 50 states is underway and it's being led by experts right here in Colorado Springs. News 5 spoke with the experts about why we should care about the cybersecurity knowledge of these politicians and their staff.

Just as individuals, cybersecurity threats have become a part of our everyday lives. So, when it comes to our government and politicians, what should our expectation be for their knowledge of these crimes and how to defend against them?

The cyber experts here at the National Cybersecurity Center say our expectations should be high and they are here to help lawmakers and their staffers.

"One of the biggest things we saw is that across the entire nation almost 95% of all legislators across the entire country, and that's a group of about 10,000 people nationally, have little to no education when it comes to technology and cybersecurity," said Forrest Senti of the National Cybersecurity Center, who is helping to lead the cybersecurity education for lawmakers.

With cybersecurity threats emerging like never before, the National Cybersecuity Center in Colorado Springs has now partnered with Google to provide cybersecurity training for lawmakers.

"If these people are making laws, if they are pushing policy, if they are responsible for protecting our state It's really important for them to at least have a baseline understanding of how cybersecurity really impact our lives and their personal lives," said Senti.

Deborah Blyth is the chief informaiton security officer for the State of Colorado.

"We monitor for attacks and we are constantly under attack. We're seeing something like 8.4 million security events every single day," Blyth said.

She's working to protect the highest executive offices of the state government from cyberattacks.

"Lawmakers have even more things they need to pay attention to because they are often targeted by very well crafted phishing emails," said Blyth.

With millions of security events happening on a daily basis, she says the staffers working for these lawmakers need to be educated too.

"The staffers may even have access to more information and more systems than the lawmakers have access to," said Blyth.

The plan is to provide this cybersecurity education to leaders in all 50 states. Colorado lawmakers are scheduled to get training this week.

"And if they're the ones responsible for passing laws and for being out there to help constituents with their problems it's a good thing for them to lead by example," said Senti.

To get in touch with your state representative to ask what they're doing to improve cybersecurity practices you can find them here:

If you would like to learn more about this training visit