Survey: Security a bigger deal to fed CIOs

Federal chief information officers have shifted their focus from e-government to a range of issues that arise from security concerns brought forth by the war on terrorism, according to a new survey.

The CIOs are paying particular attention to information security and infrastructure soundness. However, their enthusiasm for e-government has not waned, given the Bush administration's emphasis on its "quicksilver" initiatives to jump-start e-gov programs.

These are among the conclusions in the Information Technology Association of America's 12th annual survey of federal CIOs, "The Federal Information Age: Stakeholders, Customers, Citizens."

Alvin Pesachowitz of Grant Thornton LLP, the survey task group leader, said this year's interviews were heavily influenced by two major events: the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the transition to the Bush administration.

"Federal CIOs have focused their priorities on information security, which they view as both critical to defense against terrorism and as a critical foundation-building step in the process to develop viable e-government solutions to serve U.S. citizens," Pesachowitz said.

Efforts to address security and infrastructure concerns fall into four categories, the ITAA survey found:

*Securing the Internet against terrorist acts;

*Providing integration of appropriate data to better fight terrorism;

*Ensuring that Internet information content does not aid the enemy;

Ensuring a robust infrastructure, with particular emphasis on telecommunications.

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