Study: States need unified framework for info. security

The state of Ohio spent more money on IT products related to network and security hardware, security software and anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam software purchases than any other state in the past five years, according to a study released today by CDW Government Inc.

The Technology Investment Curve is an assessment of state and local government IT spending for all 50 states, as well as city and county-level investments since 2000, according to CDW-G, a unit of CDW Corp. of Vernon Hills, Ill.

The study indexes core IT purchases in network and security hardware, security software and anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam software. Five states spent between 31 percent and 76 percent higher than the average.

Ohio leads all 50 states in each of the three categories. Michigan finished second, followed by Wisconsin, Washington and Massachusetts.

Other states that scored well were Indiana, California, Oregon, New York, Florida, Connecticut and Illinois.

"Security investments are a key component of each agency's security profile," said Chris Rother, CDW-G vice president for state and local sales. "But investments alone do no ensure successful security results."

Investment in IT security is one component of the people, processes and technologies required to maintain a robust security profile, according to CDW-G.

Interviews by CDW-G with officials in the leading states identified some common characteristics, including:
  • Strong and consistent state-level leadership over the entire five-year period.

  • County and city government leadership supporting and developing major initiatives.

  • Strong and multiple academic programs in information assurance education.

  • Significant statewide user groups/associations to provide critical mass and education.

  • Early starts, with significant information security programs operating as early as 1997.

  • IT budget support and prioritization across city, county and state agencies.

CDW-G sells hardware, software and networking equipment to government agencies and public education institutions. The company has about 2,900 employees and had annual revenue of $5.7 billion in fiscal 2004. CDW-G
ranks No. 56 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors.

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