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Cybersecurity: Bridging the Gap between Technology and People

For Indiana Chief Information Officer Dewand Neely, securing state agencies is more than just an IT problem.

dewand neely 2018
Indiana CIO Dewand Neely
BALTIMORE — State CIOs name security and risk management as their No. 1 priorities, according to an annual survey from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released at the end of last year. Their concern is not without merit, as cyberattacks and ransomware incidents are reported with alarming regularity in jurisdictions of all sizes nationwide.

In light of recent attacks such as those in Atlanta, Colorado and Mecklenburg County, N.C., at NASCIO’s Midyear conference in Baltimore, Government Technology asked CIOs how they would respond if an agency in their state fell victim to ransomware.

Indiana CIO Dewand Neely offered advice that echoed the sentiments of many of his peers, including the importance of having system backups and starting from scratch in the event of an attack if at all possible.

He also discussed how the Indiana Office of Technology is working with state agencies to prepare for what many consider an inevitable breach, and he emphasized the importance not of technology to avoid issues, but of addressing the people problem.

“The human element is the majority of where things start and where things get in,” Neely said.

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.