Survey: State CIOs want better cybersecurity collaboration

A study released this week by the National Association of State CIOs recommends that the Homeland Security Department foster stronger ties with state CIOs and create a cyber security review team within the department.

The survey details five strategic recommendations and 18 lesser recommendations from NASCIO to DHS on ways to improve cyber security and relations between the information officers and the department.

Other top concerns expressed by the NASCIO survey are the need to promote existing programs and to develop best practices for risk assessments; continuity of operations planning, training, exercises and contracting alliances; and a localized effort to train a new IT work force.

They also want DHS to put less emphasis on alerting services and focus more attention on external cyber attacks.

With the aim of identifying the condition of cyber security in state governments and assessing state relationships with DHS, Kansas CIO Denise Moore oversaw the survey, which was conducted in August. The survey, which reached out to CIOs and chief information security officers at the statewide level, generated responses from 27 states, representing 57 percent of the nation's population, the group said.

The NASCIO survey was released this week along with results from a survey conducted by the Metropolitan Information Exchange, an association of county and municipal CIOs. That survey generated 23 respondents at the local level, and represents 7 percent of the nation's population, according to MIX.

The minority staff of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security also is expected to release a report with recommendations based on the findings of the NASCIO and MIX surveys, according to a NASCIO statement. No anticipated date was given for the release of the House Committee report.

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