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Texas DIR Works to Boost Cybersecurity for Local Governments

CIO Amanda Crawford outlines how Texas IT is using their reach to create volunteer cybersecurity response teams, shore up local efforts and make sure agencies have the security resources they need.

Texas Chief Information Officer Amanda Crawford
(Government Technology/David Kidd)
The pandemic brought about a bit of reshuffling when it comes to priorities named by government chief information officers. Things like digital services, cloud, and identity and access management made gains due to the growth in demand for easy-to-deploy and easy-to-access online capabilities. But despite these shifts, cybersecurity remains job No. 1 for CIOs across the board.

That’s definitely the case in Texas, where a recent piece of legislation formalized a commitment to advancing good cyber hygiene throughout the state. At last month’s National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conference, Texas CIO Amanda Crawford discussed several elements of the legislation, which includes a volunteer group to be convened in the event of a cyber incident.

Crawford also provided an overview of the TexRAMP program, a Texas-specific version of the FedRAMP certification required for companies seeking to do business with government agencies. Providers have until Jan. 1, 2022, to get authorized by TexRAMP to do business with the state.

“We’re asking our cloud providers to just do what we ask our state agencies to do, which is meet our standards,” she said.

Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including Government Technology, Governing, Industry Insider, Emergency Management and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle 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.
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.