Report Finds Federal Government’s Cybersecurity Stronger Than State and Local

Challenges for state and local governments a lack of skilled personnel, and lesser ability to prevent, detect, contain, and recover from threats.

The State of Cybersecurity in Local, State and Federal Government sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise was conducted by Ponemon Institute to learn the challenges IT and IT security practitioners face in keeping various government agencies secure from attacks and threats.

The report surveyed IT and IT security practitioners in the federal, local, and state governments and ultimately found, 

State and local governments are not prepared to deal with cybersecurity threats. In many cases, the federal government has a much stronger cybersecurity posture than state and local governments.

The report found that top security threats for state and local governments include known vulnerabilities, negligent insiders and zero-day attacks.

Challenges for state and local governments include:

  • A lack of skilled personnel is a challenge at both federal and state and local organizations. However, the challenge is more severe at the state and local level (62 percent say this is a major challenge).
  • Lack of budgetary resources
  • Lack of sharing of threat intelligence.

For more information, download the full research report.

At this year’s Summer Conference, MACo will be hosting a general session on cyber security, Cybersecurity on a Shoestring Budget. The Session will be moderated by Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger and will include a panel of cybersecurity experts, local government representatives, and private sector partners.

From the session description,

While the federal government works on big-picture solutions, state and local government agencies are under tremendous pressure to secure critical data, infrastructure and services. The massive amount of valuable data housed by county agencies — Social Security and driver’s license numbers, credit card information, and health-care records, to name a few — is an attractive target for cybercriminals seeking financial gain. This session will describe where counties can make progress toward better cyber protection, even under these circumstances. Subjects will include employee training and leveraging cost-effective tools and partnership opportunities to maintain data integrity.

The Session will be held on Friday, August 19, 2016 from 9-10:30 am.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Questions? vwhite@mdcounties.org

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