Friday, April 12, 2019 - 11:30 am

Gov. Doug Burgum on Thursday signed Senate Bill 2110, a milestone that makes North Dakota the first state to authorize a central, shared service approach to cybersecurity strategy across all aspects of state government including state, local, legislative, judicial, K-12 education and higher education.  

“This important investment in 21st century critical infrastructure recognizes the increasingly digital world in which we live and the growing nature of cybersecurity threats,” Burgum said. “A unified approach to cybersecurity strengthens our ability to protect the state network’s 252,000 daily users and more than 400 entities from cyberattacks.”  

“The collaborative effort on this legislation clearly reflects a whole-of-government approach by North Dakota’s leaders, enabling the state to effectively address millions of monthly attacks and identify potential gaps in cybersecurity,” said Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley. 

North Dakota is also pursuing a comprehensive, statewide approach to computer science and cybersecurity education, with a goal of “Every Student. Every School. Cyber Educated” as part of its “K-20W Initiative.” Efforts include new Computer Science and Cybersecurity standards recently adopted by the Department of Public Instruction and legislative authority to the State Superintendent to credential trained instructors to teach these standards.  

In addition, North Dakota State University has a new cybersecurity education focus in its Ph.D. program, and Bismarck State College was recently designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The two federal organizations stated that BSC’s ability to meet the increasing demands of program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure. The programs at NDSU and BSC create greater career opportunities for students in a highly competitive global economy.  
“The jobs of today and tomorrow involve significant emphasis on technology skills, and providing training and resources for our students and workforce in computer science and cybersecurity will also benefit us as a state as we continue to lead the nation in our cybersecurity approach,” Burgum said. 

For additional information on the K-20W Initiative, click here.