State CIOs Urge Collaboration on Cybersecurity and Broadband at NASCIO Fly-In

WASHINGTON, D.C. Wednesday, May 7, 2014 –Today NASCIO’s members told federal officials that there is a critical need to broaden and mature their efforts to secure public sector IT infrastructure, incentivize collaboration on broadband services for schools and libraries, and build upon initial engagement regarding the planned nationwide public safety broadband network known as FirstNet. Over 50 State CIOs and state technology policy officials participated in NASCIO’s 2014 D.C. Fly-In, meeting with federal officials and key stakeholders on national issues that impact state IT services.

NASCIO members discussed the need for state and federal authorities to continue mature collaborative efforts to defend public networks against hackers and other cyber threats. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Assistant Secretary Roberta “Bobbie” Stempfley and National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Acting Chief of the Computer Security Division Matthew Scholl provided an overview of the cybersecurity framework and current efforts to promote its adoption.
“DHS and NIST have been excellent partners in the development of the cybersecurity framework. Now comes the hard work: ensuring it is used to promote enterprise approaches to cybersecurity in the states rather than as a checklist for compliance,” said Craig Orgeron, NASCIO President and Mississippi chief information officer and executive director.

In addition, Department of Justice’s J. Patrick McCreary, associate deputy director, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), announced a partnership between NASCIO and the agency on Cybersecurity Disruption Response Planning and Cyber Threat Analytics.

State CIOs kicked off the day by meeting with Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. The conversation focused on providing broadband to schools and libraries, and enacting reforms to the E-rate program that helps provide resources for high speed broadband.

State CIOs also met with FirstNet Board Member Teri Takai and Deputy General Manager for FirstNet TJ Kennedy to discuss next steps between states and the FirstNet Authority in building a nationwide public safety broadband network. Creating an interoperable public safety communications network remains an unfulfilled recommendation of the 9/11 commission over a decade after the commission pointed out this significant gap in our homeland security. 

NASCIO strives to improve federal policy to ensure citizens receive secure, effective, and efficient IT services from their governments. As a key facet of NASCIO’s advocacy and government affairs outreach, the annual D.C. Fly-In establishes and strengthens relationships between NASCIO’s members and their federal partners. The goal is to engage key federal officials on NASCIO’s priority policy concerns and reinforce recognition of NASCIO as the primary resource for federal policy makers on state information technology issues.