I’m at the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, where the state and local government Chief Security Officers (CSOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and many of their top team members have gathered for three days. The MS-ISAC is now a division of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), and this group plays a vital role in cybersecurity information sharing and situational awareness between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and state and local governments.
These meetings provide a venue for collaboration and comparing notes amongst the cyber leaders in federal, state and local government. For the last few years, the meetings have been held in conjunction with the GFIRST conference, which is sponsored by DHS.
This year, the MS-ISAC Annual Meeting is the largest ever and includes representatives from 45 state governments and 40 local governments.
While the major focus of the three days is engagement on specific cyber issues and workgroup topics, the agenda for the annual meeting includes presentations from cyber leaders like Will Pelgrin (President and CEO of CIS) , Howard Schmidt (former cybersecurity coordinator for President Obama), Mark Weatherford (Deputy Under Secretary, Cybersecurity National Programs and Protection Directorate, DHS), Steve Chabinski, (Deputy Assistant Director, Cyber, Federal Bureau of Investigation) and Kelvin Coleman (Director, State, Local and Tribal Engagement, National Cyber Security Division, DHS).
We will also have updates on specific new MS-ISAC projects, like the CISO mentoring program started earlier this year. Many of the mentors had a chance to meet with the men and women that they are mentoring last night for the first time before the welcome reception, and these types of informal get-togethers are very helpful, in my opinion.
So what is everyone talking about?
The morning sessions were excellent, with Howard Schmidt providing insights from his years in the public and private sectors. He discussed the first Cyberstorm exercise, and he said he was proud with how far we’ve come – while admitting we have a long ways to go. Howard charged the delegates to:
1) Lead their governments’ efforts in buying the right security products and services
2) Uncover vulnerabilities and ensure that we take away the known holes.
3) Build the future teams and vision for cybersecurity collaboration and information sharing.
Howard also discussed the struggle regarding the roles of government and making secure product configurations mandatory verses voluntary.
Other morning updates included some impressive numbers by Will Pelgrin regarding the roles and responsibilities of the MS-ISAC, a great keynote by Steve Chabinski from the FBI, and several updates from DHS on upcoming events and awareness training.
This afternoon will offer breakout sessions on several topics and well as workgroup action sessions.
We kickoff tomorrow with some joint MS-ISAC / GFIRST meetings.
Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.
During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.
He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.
Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.
He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.
Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso
Building effective virtual government requires new ideas, innovative thinking and hard work. From cybersecurity to cloud computing to mobile devices, Dan discusses what’s hot and what works in the world of gov tech.