NASCIO Applauds Congressional Action on Cybersecurity

LEXINGTON, KY. Friday, December 19, 2014 – The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) President Stu Davis, chief information officer for the State of Ohio, released the following statement regarding congressional action on cybersecurity legislation:

“NASCIO’s members are very pleased that the 113th Congress was able to take substantial and meaningful steps to secure our nation’s cyber infrastructure before adjourning. Cybersecurity remains the number one priority of state CIOs. The passage of the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 (S. 1353), National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 (S. 2519), and Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (S. 2521) will help develop the nation’s cyber workforce, codify crucial cybersecurity activities in the executive branch, and initiate much-needed reforms to outdated government data security regulations that currently create red tape and little else for the states.”

“According to the 2014 Deloitte-National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) cybersecurity study, released October 1, insufficient funding, sophisticated threats, and shortage of skilled talent threaten security and put state governments at risk. Approximately 6 in 10 (61 percent) CISOs cited an increase in sophistication of threats, up from roughly half (52 percent) in 2012. The number citing a shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals jumped from 46 percent in 2012 to 59 percent in 2014. The action by Congress may provide some initial support for correcting these trends.”

“Our organization is thankful for the hard work put in by Senators Rockefeller (D-WV), Thune (R-SD), Carper (D-DE), Coburn (R-OK), as well as Representatives McCaul (R-TX), Thompson (D-MS), Meehan (R-VA), and Clarke (D-NY), to pass this legislation. They need to be commended for their perseverance and dedication to this important issue.”

“NASCIO looks forward to working with the administration to implement these bills, as well as continuing to work with our allies in the 114th Congress to continue to improve our nation’s cybersecurity posture. The passage of these bills are a clear sign of the strong consensus that more must be done to improve our cybersecurity defenses. It is an excellent first step that will bring more cybersecurity professionals to all levels of government, improve information sharing and coordination between the public and private sector, and ensure we are all taking the right steps to secure our networks against the millions of attacks our state IT systems are fighting against each day.”