October 30, 2011    /    by

New Core Services Taxonomy for State IT Security Programs

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIOs) Security and Privacy Committee has released a new report entitled: The Heart of the Matter: A Core Services Taxonomy for State IT Security Programs.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officer’s (NASCIO’s) Security and Privacy Committee has released a new report entitled: The Heart of the Matter: A Core Services Taxonomy for State IT Security Programs. The PDF version of the document is available for free download from the NASCIO Publications website.

Why is this document important and worth reading? Here’s an excerpt from the opening paragraph: READ MORE

October 22, 2011    /    by

Weatherford an Excellent Choice for DHS Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity

Mark Weatherford has been named as the new deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mark is a thoughtful executive who has both military service and hands-on experience dealing with every aspect of our cyber ecosystem. I am confident that he is the right person for this job as we head into 2012.

According to Politico and other sources, Mark Weatherford has been named as the new deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mark will fill the role formerly held by Philip Reitinger, who resigned in May.

Politico wrote: “Weatherford will manage the department’s cybersecurity operations, which include overseeing the agency's partnership with the private sector and security of the dot-gov network. The Obama administration gave DHS an elevated role in managing the federal government’s cyber defenses in its legislative proposal released this spring, making Weatherford a key player for the government.” READ MORE

October 19, 2011    /    by

What Should Get Cut Out of Technology Budgets?

There have been several recent articles and reports that offer ways to save Information Technology (IT) dollars. The lists of potential cuts are worth reviewing, but I urge some caution as well.

 There have been several recent articles and reports that offer ways to save Information Technology (IT) dollars. The lists of potential cuts are worth reviewing, but I urge some caution as well.

According to Computerworld, Gartner is urging IT managers to reexamine many common practices with an eye towards stopping ineffective or wasteful approaches. One conference in Florida urged “creative destruction” by killing spending or making radical changes to business as usual. For example, here are a few of the 16 items suggested: READ MORE

October 8, 2011    /    by

A New Call to Action - Backstage at the Michigan Cyber Summit

Governor Snyder quickly raised the bar: "If people walk away tomorrow saying that we had a nice conference with good speakers, we will have failed. We need everyone walking away saying that it is time to act now on cyber whatever their role."

It was Thursday night, October 6, 2011, and we were listening to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder share his thoughts on the soon-to-be launched Michigan Cyber Initiative. About seventy-five Fortune 500 technology and defense executives, leaders from federal, state and local governments, university presidents, keynote speakers and other VIPs were gathered at the Eastern Michigan University in preparation for the Cyber Summit the next day. The picturesque room, overlooking a golf course with a lake, was decorated with Detroit Tiger banners, in preparation for game five between the Tigers and Yankees in a few hours.  

Governor Snyder quickly raised the bar: “If people walk away tomorrow saying that we had a nice conference with good speakers, we will have failed. We need everyone walking away saying that it is time to act now on cyber – whatever their role.” READ MORE

September 24, 2011    /    by

Career Moves: All Roads Lead to Security

As reported by Government Technology Magazine last week, Michigan is merging physical and cyber security. I will be moving to the newly created role of Michigan Chief Security Officer (CSO) in October. The reaction from my friends and colleagues from around the country has been all over the map ranging from Great move to Are you really ok with this?

As reported by Government Technology Magazine last week, Michigan is merging physical and cyber security.  I will be moving to the newly created role of Michigan Chief Security Officer (CSO) in October. The reaction from my friends and colleagues from around the country has been all over the map – ranging from “Great move” to “Are you really ok with this?” Here’s a brief look at some of my thoughts about the change and the technology and security industries as we head towards 2012.

Some Background: READ MORE

September 10, 2011    /    by

The Day That Changed the Decade: Remembering September 11, 2001

I had just come out of an e-Michigan meeting in the Romney Building in downtown Lansing. It was a few minutes after 9 AM on 9/11/01. Someone yelled, A small plane just hit the World Trade Center in New York!

I had just come out of an e-Michigan meeting in the Romney Building in downtown Lansing. It was a few minutes after 9 AM on 9/11/01. Someone yelled, “A small plane just hit the World Trade Center in New York!”

Several of us rushed over to watch the events unfolding on a small TV. We were shocked when a second plane hit the other tower, and we stared in disbelief when both towers collapsed.  After that, I remember the rumors flying for hours. Scary (false) reports like: “The While House is on fire.”   READ MORE

September 5, 2011    /    by

Why Computer Geeks Need Sports

Where did you first learn what it means to out-hustle the competition? How did you develop that strong will to win? When was the first time you worked hard with teammates to accomplish a goal? For many readers, the answer is likely to be playing sports.

Where did you first learn what it means to out-hustle the competition? How did you develop that strong will to win? When was the first time you worked hard with teammates to accomplish a goal? For many readers, the answer is likely to be playing sports.

Or, if you were not an athlete, what brought your diverse high school or college student body and faculty together when so many forces pulled them apart? What often unites liberals and conservatives today in your city? That’s right, the answer is cheering for your favorite local baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, or other sports team. READ MORE

August 27, 2011    /    by

Hurricane Irene: Using Technology to Prepare and Clean Up

Hurricanes are notorious for disabling technology by cutting off electricity. In some cases, the threat of coming storms can overwhelm our phone systems and websites. But technology is also being used in new ways to prepare for and clean up after natural disasters, like hurricane Irene.

Hurricanes are notorious for disabling technology by cutting off electricity. In some cases, the threat of coming storms can overwhelm our phone systems and websites. But technology is also being used in new ways to prepare for and clean up after natural disasters, like Hurricane Irene.

As Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina on Saturday morning, millions of people up and down the East Coast braced for the worst. Despite reports that the storm had weakened, thousands of people were already evacuated and others who stayed on the coast lost power. Prior to the storm, Major League Baseball rescheduled games.  New Jersey even closed casinos for only the third time ever. READ MORE

August 15, 2011    /    by

Consolidating Data Centers: The New Normal in Government

Governments across North America are now consolidating data centers at an unprecedented pace. This is not just talk, but real action is (finally) occurring.

Governments across North America are now consolidating data centers at an unprecedented pace. This is not just talk, but real action is (finally) occurring. Welcome to the “new normal” in global technology efficiency, with federal, state, local and even international governments participating.

Want proof that this is happening? Here are a few example articles and some excerpts from each: READ MORE

August 9, 2011    /    by

MS-ISAC Annual Meeting Focus 2011: Strengthening Partnerships

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) is holding its annual meeting in Nashville, TN, this week, and the focus is all about ways to strengthen partnerships.

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) is holding its annual meeting in Nashville, TN, this week, and the focus is all about ways to strengthen partnerships. Indeed, the meetings are being held simultaneously with the GFIRST Annual Conference and the InfraGard National Congress to facilitate many joint meetings.  At least 45 state governments, numerous local governments and many U.S. territories are represented at these MS-ISAC meetings, with most states having 2-3 representatives.

  From the initial meeting overview and charge given by Will Pelgrin to the welcome messages Bobbie Stempfley, acting assistant secretary of the DHS Office of Cyber Security and Communications, the meetings highlighted the cyber risks and partnership examples. Even during the role call list and comments from the government representatives in the audience, the discussion topics kept coming back to ways that states and locals can work together with DHS and the MS-ISAC to improve information sharing, solve complex cyber problems and provide best practice solutions to members. READ MORE