Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, for the first time in history, declared a statewide cybersecurity emergency last week, following cyber-attacks against several school systems in the state.

By declaring a cybersecurity emergency, the state is able to garner needed resources, including cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana National Guard, State Police, the Office of Technology Services, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Louisiana State University, and others to assist school systems in Sabine, Morehouse and Oachita parishes that were compromised with malware attacks.

According to the Governor’s office, although these resources are working on the incident, the threat is ongoing. The Governor established a statewide Cyber Security Commission in 2017 and stated that these incidents against school systems in the State are the reason the Commission was established.

Several states, but not all, have established Cyber Security Commissions or similar public-private partnerships in order to prepare for and respond to cyber-attacks that affect state resources. Setting up the Commission in advance of attacks like the ones that occurred in Louisiana will assist states in responding quickly to these attacks and provide appropriate resources and help to those affected.