Balancing Technology with Cybersecurity Needs in Kansas

Kansas Chief Information Technology Officer Lee Allen explains how, in addition to implementing agency-level security, he gives his CISO the autonomy he needs to protect the enterprise at large.

Kansas Chief Information Technology Officer Lee Allen
Eyragon Eidam/Government Technology
Chief information officers at all levels of government have consistently ranked cybersecurity as their No. 1 priority in the last several years, according to the Center for Digital Government.* With the rise of ransomware attacks and other serious breaches, their concerns are well-founded.

Last year, legislation in Kansas formally established the CISO role and the state’s security office, and required that agencies have their own heads of security. This means that “the ownership and responsibility of cybersecurity in state government falls within the agencies,” Chief Information Technology Officer Lee Allen explained at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers Midyear conference last week.

Allen said he sees the role of CISO as distinct from his CITO position, and that he tries to give state security chief Rod Blunt autonomy to ensure security needs are being met, while supporting those efforts however he can. 

The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, Government Technology’s parent company.

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 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.
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