“Ensuring the safety of citizen data is a critical responsibility of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” the Governor stated in the executive directive.  “In the face of ever-increasing cybersecurity attacks on consumer and business-related entities, I am committed to ensuring that transactions conducted between citizens and the Commonwealth meet the highest level of transactional security standards.”

The security features have been a hot issue for the Obama administration.  The President recently signed two executive orders that attempt to spur greater collaboration between the public and private cybersecurity sectors and encourage enhanced payment card technology.  The executive directive issued by Governor McAuliffe builds on both orders by making Virginia the first to apply the principles at the state level.

“I am keenly aware of the need for best practices and models to help spur states to advance their cybersecurity position and make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to our sensitive data,” McAuliffe said.  “We must partner with the federal government, the private sector and other states to push innovation and adoption of enhanced electronic payment technologies — by our agencies, our merchants and our citizens — to help reduce credit card fraud.  This directive will ensure the highest level of security for transactions conducted between citizens and state agencies.”