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WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is a national leader in digital systems and cybersecurity, and plays a vital role in identifying and responding to cybersecurity threats that may have significant impact to Virginian’s safety and privacy; and
WHEREAS, critical infrastructure, as well as Virginia’s economy, is increasingly reliant on the support of information systems and technology; and
WHEREAS, monitoring accounts, being conscientious of online sharing, keeping computer software up to date, creating and changing unique passwords regularly, and using mobile devices and other internet-connect devices safely are just a few ways the community can protect Virginia’s information technology infrastructure from phishing, viruses, ransomware, and other types of malware, financial loss, and loss of sensitive data; and
WHEREAS, in the past year alone, Virginia’s information technology specialists, partners, and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) prevented 66 million attack attempts and 50,000 malware threats on the Commonwealth’s systems; and
WHEREAS, as a result of House Bill 852, Virginia now requires an extensive information security awareness curriculum that provides annual training for over 100,000 state employees across all three branches of government; and
WHEREAS, in 2018, Executive Order 19 was passed, which was designed to leverage cloud services to migrate systems in order to make the Commonwealth a more agile and modern place for business; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is one of the first states in the nation to procure cyber liability insurance using the quantitative risk analysis for improved cybersecurity risk management, which promotes collaboration among agencies on cyber protection and provides added benefits of improved financial security to manage cybersecurity risk; and
WHEREAS, cybersecurity education and awareness is crucial for every Virginian who connects to internet services, and vital to the daily operations of small businesses, financial institutions, schools, government agencies, corporations, and residents; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to empowering future generations of cybersecurity professionals by promoting and advocating for educational programs; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to be at the forefront of workforce development by showcasing the need to inspire, engage, and inform the public about the demand, opportunities, and career options available; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 2021, as CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.