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Can CIOs Get the Money They Need for Cybersecurity?

Three CIOs weigh in on whether they have the resources for effective cybersecurity approaches.

A few years ago, the case for robust cyberprotections was hard for public-sector technology officials to make. Competing priorities, budget constraints and a lack of awareness of cyberthreats on the part of policymakers limited investments in cybersecurity.

At the annual National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conference this week in San Diego, Government Technology asked state chief information officers what the funding picture looks like now when it comes to cybersecurity. Utah CIO Mike Hussey recently opened a small-scale multi-agency cybercenter, but as he explains below, he could still use more resources to protect the state's assets. 

California CIO Amy Tong sees room for improvement when it comes to how the nation's most populous state approaches cybersecurity. She's focused on working with agencies to adopt a more proactive security stance, funding security "as a preventative cost."

"I would love to say that we could fund everything we wanted to, and I don't know necessarily that anybody can," said Louisiana CIO Dickie Howze. He's encouraged by the recent formation by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards of a public- and private-sector cybersecurity commission, on which Howze serves. This increased focus, he believes, will ultimately drive more funding to the state's cyberefforts.

Noelle Knell has been the editor of Government Technology magazine for e.Republic since 2015. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.