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Whole-of-State Cyber Approaches Are Sweeping the Country

State chief information officers get specific about their responsibilities when it comes to the cyber health of the state itself, as well as the myriad governmental organizations within it.

Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon
Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon
(Government Technology/David Kidd)
Earlier this year, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a Joint Security Operations Center based in Brooklyn — a physical space to represent the state’s commitment to partnering with local governments on cybersecurity. The news came with a significant boost in resources too, doubling the state’s previous cyber allocation to $62 million.

GovTech caught up with New York Chief Information Officer Angelo “Tony” Riddick at last month’s National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conference to get his take on the importance of the effort, which will extend services like threat awareness and analysis to municipalities in New York.

Riddick’s plans mirror those of many of his peers who are also embracing a newfound responsibility to cities and counties who may not have as many resources to devote to tackling the latest cybersecurity threats.

In Tennessee, CIO Stephanie Dedmon explained how they have earmarked some of the funding the state is getting from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), as well as other sources, to help fuel their “whole of state” cyber approach.

In addition to making state cyber contracts available for local government use, she also mentioned helping with assessments of risks and gaps in IT infrastructure.

“We’re really just trying to identify what some of their pain points are and how we can help,” she said.

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