US state CIOs call for cybersecurity grants


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 08 December, 2020

US state CIOs call for cybersecurity grants

The president of the US National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has testified before the US Senate about the cybersecurity challenges facing state and local government ICT systems during COVID-19.

Denis Goulet, the State CIO of New Hampshire, appeared before the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs last week.

During a hearing on defending communities from cyber threats amid the pandemic, Goulet urged Congress to pass a dedicated cybersecurity grant program for state and local governments.

“Inadequate resources for cybersecurity has been the most significant challenge facing state and local government, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Goulet said during his testimony, calling the grant program “long overdue”.

Goulet recommended a whole-of-state approach to shoring up security, noting that more than 90% of state CIOs are responsible for their state’s cybersecurity posture and policies. “In collaboration with their CISOs, whose role has expanded and matured in recent years, CIOs have taken numerous initiatives to enhance the status of the cybersecurity program and environment in their states,” he said.

“I believe these initiatives are also fundamentally crucial as Congress considers the implementation of a cybersecurity grant program for state and local governments.”

During his testimony, Goulet also stressed the importance of adoption of a cybersecurity strategic plan, a cyber disruption plan, cyber insurance, cybersecurity awareness training and the adoption of the common National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/doganmesut

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