Gov. John Bel Edwards established by executive order a Louisiana Cybersecurity commission and named Cyber Innovation Center Executive Director Craig Spohn to chair the commission for its first year.

“This is the reality. Never in the history of our country has our national security been so tied to cybersecurity,” Edwards said. “Now that Louisiana has become a hub for cyber innovation, it’s time to put our resources into practice.”

In naming Spohn to lead the commission, Edwards touted the role that the CIC has played in cyber security and innovation in its 10 years of existence.

“This is a really big deal,” Edwards said. “It’s going to position us even better in our nation to be the leader in cybersecurity because of the visionary leadership that has been shown in Louisiana, and particularly here in northwest Louisiana.”

The goals of the commission include identifying and mitigating the state’s cyber risks, promoting cybersecurity awareness, enhancing the state’s cyber emergency preparedness and more. The 15-member commission will report to the governor and the Louisiana Legislature.

Edwards said the committee would further advance the state’s position as a national leader in cybersecurity.

“I go to conferences with governors from all over the country,” he said. “One of the things we always talk about because it is so important is cybersecurity. They are always surprised at how much we have going on in Louisiana with cybersecurity. And most of what we have going on with cybersecurity is right here in north Louisiana along the I-20 corridor.”

Louisiana Tech is another of the entities that will be represented on the commission.

“We applaud and support the Governor’s Office for forming a Commission that will help facilitate economic development, not only along the I-20 Innovation Corridor where we are most heavily invested, but also throughout the region,” said La Tech president Les Guice. “The commission, another example of the power of partnership, will be a giant aid, both in growing Louisiana’s cybersecurity workforce and in educating all of our residents about cybersecurity.”

Edwards signed the order at Parkway High School on Dec. 6. Parkway is an “A” rated school and has had national finalist teams in the CyberPatriot National Finals held in Maryland.