State CIOs Advocate for Strong Federal-State Partnership to Tackle Cybersecurity

Today NASCIO members engaged with strategic partners, representatives from Capitol Hill, federal officials from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and FirstNet to emphasize the need for strong partnership between federal and state governments. More than 30 state CIOs and state technology policy officials participated in NASCIO’s 2016 Fly-In, where they had the opportunity to advocate for NASCIO’s 2016 advocacy priorities.

Cybersecurity was a recurring theme at the NASCIO Fly-In where state CIOs discussed the need for a strong federal-state partnership in defending government networks. DHS’s Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications, Dr. Andy Ozment spoke to federal cybersecurity resources available to state governments on how state CIOs can take advantage of those offerings. State CIOs also received a DHS briefing focused on lessons learned from the attack against Ukrainian power infrastructure in December 2015.

“Cybersecurity has been a top priority for NASCIO for the past several years.  We are glad to see that DHS and others are willing and eager to partner with us as we continue to address cybersecurity from a multitude of angles,” said Darryl Ackley, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Information Technology and NASCIO president.

Additionally, as part of NASCIO’s advocacy effort to find flexibility in federal regulations that impact state IT, state CIOs also discussed IRS Publication 1075 with IRS Office of Safeguards Senior Technical Advisor Steve Matteson. IRS Publication 1075 governs the use, inspection, and disclosure of federal tax information commonly utilized by state governments. Rules contained within the publication have sometimes been a hurdle for state CIOs seeking enterprise consolidation and optimization. NASCIO is expected to engage on a more regular basis with IRS Office of Safeguards on the future of IRS Publication 1075.

NASCIO’s annual D.C. Fly-In convenes state CIOs and NASCIO’s federal and strategic partners for a day of advocacy and discussion related to current government affairs priorities: cybersecurity, FirstNet, flexibility in federal regulations impacting state IT and information sharing. It also serves as an opportunity for state CIOs to establish and strengthen key relationships with federal decision-makers.