TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today virtually hosted the Second Annual Cybersecurity Summit for Executives. The summit, attended by agency leaders and executives, focused on the business impact of cybersecurity and the threats and vulnerabilities that state agencies face.

The goal of the summit was to underscore the organizational importance of cybersecurity to non-technical executives and leaders.

“States are not immune to the disrupting effects of a cyberattack. We have also seen cyber threats that have targeted State of Kansas agencies,” Governor Kelly said. “This conference is just one of the many ways we are creating a culture of cyber-awareness within the state – and that culture starts with us as leaders.”

Highlights of the Summit included a discussion with Deborah Blyth, Chief Information Security Officer with the State of Colorado, and the SamSam ransomware attack on the Colorado Department of Transportation in 2018. Additionally, attendees discussed how to foster “cybersecurity culture” and the importance of maintaining vigilance against cyberattacks.

“Leadership support from the governor’s office, agencies, and the legislature is a critical component in a successful cybersecurity program,” said Blyth. “While none of us are likely immune from falling victim to a well-crafted cyber-attack, having leadership support combined with a strong cybersecurity program already in place is the key to minimizing impact and assuring recovery.”

Other speakers included Kansas’ Chief Information Technology Officer DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Gartner’s Senior Director Analyst Srinath Sampath, and Kansas’ Chief Information Security Officer Jeff Maxon.

“I’m confident that our agency leaders came away from the Summit with greater knowledge, appreciation, and tools that will continue to enhance our state’s cybersecurity posture,” said CITO Burns-Wallace.