States Improving Cybersecurity Posture Through NGA Partnership

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Manager

The National Governors Association (NGA) recently announced a partnership with states and territories that are looking to enhance their cybersecurity posture through the implementation of key controls to mitigate future attacks.

After a competitive application process, the six states and one territory chosen were Arkansas, Guam, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Washington. Through a series of workshops between now and the end of the year, NGA, along with their respective homeland security agencies and National Guard units, will coordinate with state agencies, local government and K-12 schools to develop methods of improving existing cybersecurity approaches.

During the workshops, participants will brainstorm new methods to protect critical infrastructure, and vendors may discover new business opportunities. In addition to developing more comprehensive strategies and collaborating with neighboring governments, the participants will be focusing on implementing six key controls outlined by the Center for Internet Security:

  1. Inventory and control of hardware
  2. Inventory and control of software
  3. Continuous vulnerability management
  4. Controlled use of administrative privileges
  5. Secure configuration for hardware and software on mobile devices, laptops, workstations and servers
  6. Maintenance, monitoring and analysis of audit logs

A key component of the workshops is helping local governments and K-12 school districts reduce their overall cyber risk. Local governments and school districts are especially at risk due to limited funding and staffing resources. Working with their state government counterparts and the NGA will enable them to identify which controls they currently lack, but that’s only half the battle. These local governments and K-12 school districts will also be looking for vendors who can help implement those controls.

Since most cyber organizations are short on funding and staff, partners can help them efficiently mitigate cybersecurity risk. By taking time to understand the specific needs and security gaps of states, local governments and K-12 school districts, you can more easily form crucial partnerships moving forward.

Need help understanding specific cybersecurity gaps for state, local and education organizations? Reach out to our Market Intelligence team to see how we can help you better target your technology.

Keep up on the latest IT trends in SLED. Subscribe to the immixGroup Government Sales Insider blog.

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