Our top picks for best SLED events

By Jessica Wilhelm, SLED Contracts Specialist

Marketing budgets are always tight, and we never seem to have enough funding or time to be at every event. immixGroup attended 8 major SLED conferences in 2022 and we identified 3 major themes we wanted to share with you to help you plan and prioritize your 2023 conference selections.

Best value for your wallet

Beyond the Beltway, centrally located in Tysons Corner, is especially appealing to the D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) SLED customer base.  It’s a must-attend conference for sales reps and market intelligence analysts. A booth presence is affordable, providing logo recognition and networking opportunities with DMV customers.

Texas DIR Information Security Forum is cost-friendly, offering great value for your dollars! The Platinum sponsorship includes a 10×20 booth and a speaking session. Besides being well-organized, the sessions are packed with relevant content and a lead list is provided at the close of the conference.

Most informational

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StateRAMP is here to stay. Are you ready?

By Ceren Öney, SLED Market Intelligence Manager

Formal adoption of StateRAMP into IT procurement policies is rapidly increasing. Last year, we encouraged vendors to put StateRAMP on their radar screens. Since then, nearly 200 government members representing 33 states have joined the membership.

For service providers selling into state, local, and education institutions, now is the time to ensure that your cloud security is compliant with StateRAMP requirements.

While StateRAMP itself may still be a few years from being a household word, that doesn’t mean that state and local governments have been sitting idly by. The move toward better monitoring and certification of state, local and education network security has been going on for years, with two states at the forefront.

Arizona and Texas introduce state-specific frameworks

In September 2021, Arizona CIO J.R. Sloan announced the state will “test-drive” StateRAMP over the next year. Sloan, StateRAMP President and founding board member, had previously introduced AZRamp, Arizona’s Risk and Authorization Management Program. Arizona’s move to test StateRAMP doesn’t come as a surprise and further solidifies Sloan’s confidence in the program.

Meanwhile, effective January 1, 2022, Texas mandates state agencies to only enter or renew contracts for cloud offerings compliant with the Texas Department of Information Resources’ (DIR) own security framework, TX-RAMP.

Rising ransomware attacks targeting state and local governments, schools and colleges increased the pressure to strengthen cybersecurity postures and protect against incursions by bad actors. Coupled with the shift to digital services due to COVID-19’s disruptions and federal funding available under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, considerable emphasis is being placed on cyber security now more than ever.

Other states adopt the StateRAMP framework

For most states, like North Carolina and Georgia, creating a state-specific framework is too laborious and inefficient. Adopting the established StateRAMP framework makes the initial risk assessment, continuous monitoring and management more seamless and easier.

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