Bold action is needed to address cybersecurity concerns
Cities and states are at risk of cyberattack, but government leaders have tools at their disposal to thwart digital threats.
It is unknown how many cyberattacks have been attempted on state government collectively, but one state estimates that two years ago there were 150 million attacks a day, while today there is an average of 300 million attacks per day, Bo Reese, President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and CIO of Oklahoma said in a statement. “The same state has seen as many as 800 to 900 million in one day.”
These numbers are sobering, but a joint study issued yesterday by Deloitte and NASCIO, offers advice for state chief information security officers to help them address the financial and workforce challenges to improving their organizations’ cybersecurity postures. While the report is directed towards state officials, local leaders can also glean important tips and tactics.
The study offers three key “bold plays for change.” First, leaders should advocate for a dedicated cyber program funding. The report recommends making cybersecurity a line item in the IT budget and to seek funding form other, larger agencies to implement security requirements.
The study also encourages leaders to be an enabler of innovation and not a barrier. CISOs need to actively participate in innovation, collaboration and help other leaders in their organizations embrace better online habits and adopt new, more secure technologies and practices.
Finally, the study recommends partnering with the private sector and higher education in their communities. By leveraging this type of collaboration, the public sector can create a pipeline of new cybersecurity talent through internships, co-ops and apprenticeship programs.
“Simply put, the time is now to be bold in state cybersecurity,” Reese writes.