JBE proclamation

Gov. John Bel Edwards, surrounded by members of a Cybersecurity Task Force, signed a proclamation on Sept. 27 to establish October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards says one of his goals is for Louisiana to have more cybersecurity protections in place than any other state.

Edwards, a Democrat, has declared October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

"There are more threats out there than you can imagine," Edwards said during a proclamation-signing ceremony on Thursday. "If you think about it too much, you almost can't even sleep at night."

Late last year, Edwards created a task force to lead the state's efforts on the initiative. 

In the months since, the commission's members have worked to identify areas where the state needs to improve and streamline efforts across various efforts -- essentially tearing down silos that had emerged to work toward a more collaborative approach, said Major Gen. Glenn Curtis, the adjutant general for the Louisiana National Guard who is also a co-chair of the cybersecurity effort.

"The threats are immense," Curtis said. 

He said he expects the panel to propose legislation for the state Legislature to consider next year but did not elaborate on the ideas.

Edwards and Curtis declined to identify specific threats, due to security and confidentiality.

"Our adversaries are extremely capable," said Cyber Innovation Center executive director Craig Spohn, who also co-chairs the governor's task force. "The threats are real."

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.