After the breach of credit reporting firm Equifax was made public Sept. 7, exposing the personal information of more than 145 million Americans, many state tech leaders saw it as an opportunity to bring attention to the importance of cybersecurity.
At the annual National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conference in early October, Texas CIO Todd Kimbriel told Government Technology that the Equifax incident, and similar cyberevents such as the breach on global consulting firm Deloitte, don’t impact his state’s cyberstrategy, but “they certainly shine a light on the continuing need and importance of cybersecurity and security of citizen data.”
Kimbriel explained that his agency makes securing citizens’ personal information a No. 1 priority, noting that the state’s consolidated data center already adheres to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) standards, and that Texas is working on a small blockchain pilot to track cybersecurity readiness across state agencies.
Where he sees these headline-grabbing breaches impacting the public sector, however, is in terms of how different government levels securely address citizen identity. In this video, Kimbriel suggests that relying on a single federal identifier — the Social Security number — may not be the most reliable way for state governments to manage resident data.