Confronting Washington, D.C.’s Unique Cybersecurity Challenge

Washington, D.C.’s Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker says running an effective IT shop relies on good people, strong cyberdefenses and an eye toward bolstering the workforce for the future.

Lindsey Parker, CTO of Washington, D.C.
Lindsey Parker, CTO of Washington, D.C.
Eyragon Eidam/Government Technology
Washington, D.C.’s unique position at the heart of political power makes it a popular target for bad actors looking for an in, but at the same time offers an ideal breeding ground for technological talent, new innovations and new partnerships.

Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker discussed this dynamic with Government Technology during the National Association of State Chief Information Officers Midyear Conference in National Harbor, Md., May 6.

As she sees it, the myriad federal, state and local agencies — as well as engaged organizations — in the region make it a challenging one to defend. One area of focus for Parker is equipping employees with the tools and knowledge they need to best protect citizen data and government systems.

She's also working to ensure a robust talent pipeline. Parker said a proactive approach to cultivating the workforce helps the District maintain stability and protect vital systems. Engagements with youth as well as “stealing” from other talent pools allows for a stream of qualified IT professionals, she added.

"The one thing that I'm trying to do in Washington is make sure that everyone understands that at the office of the chief technology officer, we're looking for civic innovators," she said. 

Eyragon Eidam is the Web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at