Menu
US state officials worry about their ability to respond to cyberattacks

US state officials worry about their ability to respond to cyberattacks

States are having trouble recruiting top cybersecurity workers, lawmakers are told

Many states aren't confident of their ability to respond to cyberattacks on physical infrastructure such as water and electric systems, U.S. emergency response officials say.

The U.S. government could do several things to help states improve their response to cyberattacks, including increased funding for technology training programs, cybersecurity experts told a House of Representatives committee Tuesday.

States have difficulty hiring top cybersecurity employees, said Steven Spano, president and COO of the Center for Internet Security. Cybersecurity workers are a "high-demand, low-density asset," the former Air Force general told two subcommittees of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Meanwhile, states are uncertain about their ability to respond to cyberattacks, lawmakers noted. For four years in a row, states have ranked their ability to respond to cyberattacks at the bottom of a list of emergency response competencies when surveyed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, noted Representative Dan Donovan, a New York Republican.

"I am worried that it's only a matter of time before the hackers are successful" in compromising the electric grid, the water system, or some other essential service, added Representative Donald Payne, a New Jersey Democrat.

Part of the problem for states is a lack of funding, said Mark Raymond, CIO for the state of Connecticut and vice president National Association of State Chief Information Officers. 

Most states spend just 1 percent to 2 percent of their IT budgets on cybersecurity, while the federal government spends about 15 percent, Raymond said. 

Like Spano, Raymond noted the difficulty of hiring cybersecurity professionals, with states competing with private industry for the best people. Cybersecurity workers are the "most difficult to recruit and retain for states," he said. "State government salary rates and pay structures are the biggest challenges in bringing on IT talent."

Neither Spano nor Raymond gave lawmakers statistics about open cybersecurity positions in state governments.

Another area of concern is cyberthreat information sharing, witnesses said. While sharing between the federal government and states has improved in recent years, much of that information is classified, said Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Cooney, assistant deputy superintendent in the Office of Counter Terrorism for the New York State Police.

"We cannot share useful contents with many of customers unless the classification is downgraded," he said.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments