StateTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Government en How Utah Gained Visibility into the Devices on Its Networks <span>How Utah Gained Visibility into the Devices on Its Networks </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/21/2019 - 14:08</span> <div><p>State and local government agencies invite cyberattacks upon themselves if they do not know which devices are accessing their networks and <a href="">cannot control who has access to which services or infrastructure</a>.</p> <p>Utah wanted to make sure it was not in that position following an internal security assessment made two years ago that showed the Beehive State did not know which devices were connected to its networks. </p> <p>In 2018, Utah partnered with cybersecurity software firm <a href=";amp;searchscope=all&amp;amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Forescout</a> to <strong>gain that needed visibility</strong>. Forescout <a href="" target="_blank">recently announced</a> it had created an integrated solution with cloud computing company <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">ServiceNow</a> to deliver an asset intelligence solution for customers, including the state of Utah. The solution is being used to gain visibility into the roughly <strong>60,000 network-connected devices</strong> across state agencies that serve 3.1 million inhabitants.</p> <p>Utah CISO Phil Bates <a href="" target="_blank">tells StateScoop</a> that the partnership allows him to have insight into every device connected to the state’s networks and<strong> has made a “huge” difference in the state’s security management</strong>. The agentless solution also is expected to save the state millions of dollars in compliance cost savings. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>VIDEO:</strong> These are the cybersecurity threats that keep state CISOs up at night. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Utah Gains Security and Savings with Device Visibility Solution</h2> <p>Bates says the Forescout solution enables the state to respond to security incidents faster, and automates the security and compliance processes for tens of thousands of state devices. </p> <p><strong>“The main benefit is it makes the state more secure,</strong>” he says. “The secondary benefit is we’re saving a lot of man hours because we used to do a lot of this manually.”</p> <p>“The powerful Forescout solution that integrates ServiceNow’s offerings helps the State of Utah eliminate network blind spots and maintain an accurate asset inventory at all times, which is critical to achieving regulatory compliance and minimizing security risk,” Pedro Abreu, chief strategy officer of Forescout, said in a statement. “We believe collaboration across the industry is key and this integrated solution brings together the right ingredients for Utah to orchestrate a successful security management system and as a result, improve its cybersecurity posture, IT efficiencies and overall bottom line.”</p> <p>Utah has spent nearly <strong>$1.2 million </strong>on the technology, according to StateScoop. However, according to Forescout, the state’s manual compliance tasks on its large network were projected to cost more than $1 million. With Forescout’s ServiceNow integration, Utah is projected to <strong>save millions of dollars</strong> resulting from faster audits by <strong>automating real-time asset management, compliance remediation </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> incident response workflows</strong>, according to Forescout. </p> <p>The software’s user interface gives state IT security staff a list of all devices connected to the state’s network, which can be sorted by device type, software version, malware signature and other filters, Bates tells StateScoop. If malware is detected on a device, software can disconnect it from the network within one minute and then to search for other devices with the same infection.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" data-widget="image" href="" id="" rel="" target="_blank" title=""><img alt="Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> <p>Such processes in the past could take up to four or five hours since staff only had an IP address to go by. They would then need to work with the state’s network operation center, which would then try to locate the device before it could be disconnected. “That is especially true if I have wireless devices moving from building to building,” Bates says.</p> <p>The tool is also <strong>saving the state time and money on managing security compliance.</strong> That is because, StateScoop reports, every device registered in the state’s inventory is deemed compliant before it is allowed online. Utah can also largely automate device patching and updating. “Now we have a really good inventory, because if you’re not in that system, you’re not in our network,” Bates says.</p> <p>Additional anticipated benefits from the Forescout and ServiceNow technology integration include a reliable single-source-of-truth repository that increases asset compliance and cybersecurity effectiveness. The companies also say Utah will now have real-time monitoring and rich contextual asset intelligence across its campus, data center, cloud, Internet of Things and operational technology environments.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is the web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 19:08:37 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42126 at Houston Turns to Cloud, IoT as It Recovers from Hurricane Harvey <span>Houston Turns to Cloud, IoT as It Recovers from Hurricane Harvey </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/20/2019 - 13:36</span> <div><p>In 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, dumping <strong>more than 1 trillion gallons</strong> of water <a href="" target="_blank">on Harris County</a>, home to the city. Houston’s flat, sprawling layout <a href="" target="_blank">contributed to the flooding</a>.</p> <p>Now, more than a year into the city’s recovery, Houston is embracing cloud technology, Internet of Things sensors and smart city initiatives to create a stronger, <a href="">more resilient city</a>. </p> <p>“We would be making a serious mistake if we were trying to rebuild things the way they were,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a panel at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., in late January, <a href="" target="_blank">StateScoop reports</a>. “We need to<strong> take advantage of all the emerging technologies </strong>that are coming about. For Harvey, we dealt with our stresses and shocks. Not only do we want to survive, we want to adapt, we want to thrive, we want to grow our economy.”</p> <p>The hurricane flooded <strong>more than 96,000</strong> homes in the city, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a report</a> by the Harris County Flood Control District, and it came after two years of record-breaking floods. Harvey was a wakeup call that the city had to change, according to Turner. </p> <p>“We had three 500-year storms in three consecutive years,” he said. “We’re seeking to<strong> become more resilient, more sustainable</strong>. These events are going to keep coming so how do we protect our persons and property and continue to grow?”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how cities can overcome challenges to smart city deployments. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Houston Embraces Cloud, Plans Smart City Programs</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">As Smart City Dive reports</a>, since the hurricane, Turner has “focused on essentials for storm mitigation: <a href="" target="_blank">new floodplain construction standards</a>, flood warning systems <a href="" target="_blank">such as cameras and sensors</a>, and assisting the <a href="" target="_blank">passage of a $2.5 billion bond package</a> to be used on flood-control measures.”</p> <p>Turner said at the conference that the city’s progress and recovery depend on working with its neighborhoods and industries, StateScoop reports. </p> <p>The city has <strong>installed free Wi-Fi service on its buses and trolleys</strong> in an effort to draw more people onto public transportation and out of their cars. Houston has also <strong>broadened a network of IoT environmental sensors </strong>that collect data on water and air quality, sewer outflow and flood detection. Those are just <a href="" target="_blank">a few of the city’s smart city initiatives</a>, which range from an analytics platform that monitors parking spot inventory in real time to a system that alerts residents during active emergencies. </p> <p>Following the storm, Houston also migrated to <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft’s Azure</a> cloud platform. “After a debilitating disaster in Houston there was an opportunity to pivot,” Toni Townes-Whitley, Microsoft’s U.S. president for regulated industries, said alongside Turner at the event in Washington, according to StateScoop. <strong>“The mayor said we’re going to use a single cloud platform.”</strong></p> <p>In May 2018, Houston and Microsoft <a href="" target="_blank">forged a wide-ranging alliance</a> that included plans for Microsoft to “assist the city in finding technological solutions to other challenges under the umbrella” of the company’s smart city initiatives.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> <p>Cities that embraced the cloud and IoT can spur innovation and economic development, Townes-Whitley argued. “When a city like Houston can show this integrated, connected infrastructure for its citizens all day, it brings other innovation,” she said. “The return on investment becomes pretty exponential.”</p> <p>Microsoft and the city are also working with nearby Rice University to <strong>develop research into civic applications of IoT technologies</strong>, Turner said, according to StateScoop. The goal is to ensure Houston can keep pace with other cities around the globe as they adopt smart city programs. </p> <p>“This is not just city hall,” Turner said. “This is the entire city as one. The Astros won the 2017 World Series because they played as one. When we play as one, working with our partners, we win.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is the web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:36:28 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42121 at Smart City Networks Require Resiliency to Stay Connected in Severe Weather <span>Smart City Networks Require Resiliency to Stay Connected in Severe Weather</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/19/2019 - 09:25</span> <div><p>Resiliency, redundancy and failover are the hallmarks of ensuring network connectivity, and they are the foundation of the fiber network that serves as the backbone of the smart city of <a href="" target="_blank">Ann Arbor, Mich</a>. </p> <p>While smart city technology provides valuable communication, convenience, awareness and more, Ann Arbor officials are realistic about the limits of that technology and the need to <strong>stay aware of potential threats — be they from harsh weather or other factors</strong>. </p> <p>Hurricanes, floods, freezing temperatures and other <strong>severe weather conditions can potentially wreak havoc on the sensors, devices and infrastructure</strong> that make up a smart city initiative. Michigan was reminded of this fact when subzero temperatures hit the state during a <a href="" target="_blank">polar vortex near the end of January and beginning of February</a>.</p> <p>To achieve the full potential of the Internet of Things, it is paramount that cities make plans for keeping these essential IoT networks and smart city equipment <a href="">up and running in even the worst conditions</a>. Simply repairing or replacing equipment that goes down is a poor option, since servicing potentially thousands of sensors and devices could prove very costly and labor-intensive. Instead, the bulk of the work must be <strong>done up front in the planning stages</strong>. </p> <p><a href="">One of <em>StateTech</em>’s Smart Cities to Watch</a>, Ann Arbor also deployed network equipment that enables continuous operation by detecting and mitigating problems when there is a single point of failure, such as a cable break anywhere along the communication path, says Tom Shewchuk, Ann Arbor’s IT director.</p> <p>"It's really up to the operations to make sure they have a plan B in case technology goes down," Shewchuk says. "I keep reminding people not to get complacent.<strong> </strong>You always have to<strong> be prepared for when technology goes down</strong>."</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/derek-rice"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Derek Rice " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/derek-rice"> <div>Derek Rice</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=derekjrice&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Derek Rice is a freelance writer and content developer who lives in Kennebunk, Maine.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:25:31 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42116 at California Unveils New Office of Digital Innovation <span>California Unveils New Office of Digital Innovation</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/18/2019 - 09:52</span> <div><p>California is home to Silicon Valley, a vital center of high tech in the private sector. The state’s government wants an infusion of that innovation. </p> <p>Gov. Gavin Newsom used his $209 billion <a href="" target="_blank">2019-2020 budget blueprint</a> to propose in January the creation of <strong>a new Office of Digital Innovation to help streamline the state’s delivery of digital services</strong>. The proposal also calls for a new innovation academy aimed at modernizing state government, as well as additional IT training. </p> <p>The innovation office would sit within the state’s Government Operations Agency and have an initial startup budget of <strong>$36.2 million</strong>. It would employ <strong>50</strong> people and have an annual budget of <strong>$14.6 million</strong>.</p> <p>The budget proposal came shortly after Newsom signed <a href="" target="_blank">an executive order</a> aimed at modernizing the state’s approach to procurement. <a href="" target="_blank">As Techwire reports</a>, it “promotes a new procurement tool that allows for solution development and collaboration on the front end of the process, instead of requiring payment before service delivery.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH:</strong> Learn about California CIO Amy Tong’s top tech priorities. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">California Plans Innovation Push in State Government</h2> <p>The budget proposal notes that millions of Californians interact with government services every day: Residents apply for driver’s licenses, students compare financial aid options and small business owners apply for licenses or pay business taxes. </p> <p>“Too often, outdated tools and complex systems make these interactions cumbersome and frustrating,” the document states. “Additionally, manual processes and the lack of digital service delivery often require individuals to take time off work and go to a physical office to interact directly with government staff.” </p> <p>California must “transform from a passive governance model that largely responds to individual statutory and policy mandates” into a state that “actively establishes measurable customer service benchmarks and<strong> leading digital service delivery from a programmatic and statewide perspective</strong>.”</p> <p>To do that, the new innovation office would have the authority to create and enforce requirements for state departments to “assess their service delivery models and underlying business processes from an end-user perspective.” Newsom’s proposal contends that the office will improve the accessibility and reliability of the state’s critical services by focusing on “business process reengineering and leveraging digital innovation, where appropriate.”</p> <p>The innovation office will work with departments and stakeholders throughout the state to implement “user-centric design, iterative software development, customer feedback loops, and other tools necessary to build <strong>a culture of continuous program improvement and </strong><strong>21st century</strong><strong> service delivery methods</strong>.”</p> <p>Additionally, the office will be able to offer insights into the coordination of service delivery across departments. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> <p>The budget proposes one-time funding of <strong>$20 million</strong> to allow the office to assist departments with the tools and resources necessary to “address prioritized needs and to demonstrate transformational customer-focused digital service delivery.” </p> <p>In tandem with the innovation office, the budget proposes a “scalable innovation academy focused on continuous process improvement, human change management, executive sponsorship, and a customer-centric mindset.” The academy would be <strong>mandatory for state supervisors, managers and executives, with the curriculum aligned to the audience</strong>. </p> <p>The budget also proposes additional IT training for state staff in agile and other modern development methods to “improve successful service delivery with a focus on continuous improvement.” California has already started investing in modular procurements and agile project development, rather than depending on a single vendor for delivery, in an effort to cut costs and reduce risks. </p> <p>However, the budget notes, the state’s current project managers generally lack expertise in managing these efforts, particularly<strong> agile development</strong>. “While the state has agile curriculum developed, more emphasis on training is necessary for state project managers and information technology staff to experience success with these methods, which have proven successful in the private sector for years,” the budget states. </p> <p>Notably, <a href="" target="_blank">Techwire reports</a>: </p> <blockquote><p>Newsom’s budget announcement does not mention the California Department of Technology (CDT), which initiated its own Digital Services Innovation Academy last May, headed by state Chief Innovation Officer Scott Gregory. DSIA is one of four CDT academies, the others being the flagship Information Technology Leadership Academy, the Project Management Leadership Academy and the Information Services Leadership Academy.</p> </blockquote> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is the web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:52:50 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42111 at Iowa Chief Justice Seeks More Funding for Court Tech <span>Iowa Chief Justice Seeks More Funding for Court Tech</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/14/2019 - 09:05</span> <div><p>Iowa wants to firmly yank its court system into the 21st century. </p> <p>In his annual <a href="" target="_blank">Condition of the Judiciary address</a> last month, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady pushed for a series of technology investments. Cady told lawmakers that technology is “propelling courts into a new age of justice,” and he announced several new digital initiatives, including <strong>an online dispute resolution system and more </strong><strong>videoconferencing</strong> in the state’s court system, <a href="">as many other localities have done</a>. </p> <p>The Iowa Judicial Branch wants an additional <strong>$7.2 million</strong> to fund them, which would amount to <strong>a 4 percent increase over the $177 million</strong> the judiciary received for the budget year ending June 30, 2018, <a href="" target="_blank">according to local TV station Fox 28</a>. </p> <p>“We simply can no longer proceed into the future thinking it will be a modest linear extension from where we are today,” Cady said. “Imagine how my grandchildren will someday read a bedtime story to their grandchildren. New tools and a new understanding of our transforming world truly create an opportunity to do what we could not have previously imagined.”</p> <p>Iowa’s court system, he said, must <strong>“think big and take big steps.” </strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how California wants to modernize its court system.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Iowa Plans for New Digital Court Investments</h2> <p>In Cady’s address, he noted that “the power of technology has stirred our imagination and allowed us to <strong>identify more than 130 critical projects</strong> to serve better more Iowans, who are our customers.” </p> <p>The court’s digital plan contains projects such as electronic search warrants, text messages to defendants and other court users, remote court reporting and interpreting, and online dispute resolution. </p> <p>Cady noted that online dispute resolution has started in a few states with “promising early results.” For example, Utah in the fall of 2018 <a href="" target="_blank">set up an online dispute resolution pilot project</a> for small claims cases that “substantially reduced the steps needed to resolve a case. It has streamlined the process and made it more convenient for court users.” </p> <p>Iowa wants to do the same for the <strong>75,000</strong> Iowans who use the state’s small claims courts each year, according to Cady. </p> <p>“Imagine an online process that will allow Iowans to <strong>resolve some of their legal disputes without taking time from work</strong> to go to the courthouse,” he said. “Imagine a time when law enforcement officers will no longer need to drive from the scene of an investigation to a courthouse to request a warrant because judges will be able to transmit search warrants to officers in their vehicles.” </p> <p> </p> <p><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></p> <p>Under the program, defendants would receive reminders of their court dates on their phones “so there are fewer delays and fewer adverse collateral consequences for defendants who miss appearance dates.”</p> <p>Iowa hopes to establish a pilot project on online dispute resolution in one or two counties this year, and Cady said he is <strong>hopeful the pilots can be launched this year</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to local TV station </a><a href="" target="_blank">WHOTV</a>. </p> <p>Cady acknowledged that the programs will require investments. “Obviously, some of these projects and proposals are going to take some additional funding, but I think the vision is what can drive us there and I hope we've started that discussion today,” Cady said. </p> <p>The judicial branch estimates that in fiscal year 2019 it will deliver <strong>a $2 million</strong> dollar return on investment for the money they appropriated. Cady hopes implementing more tech initiatives will save more money for taxpayers and lead to greater ease of access for Iowans, WHOTV reports.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is the web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:05:00 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42096 at Secure Networks Ensure the Flow of Data to First Responders During Disasters <span>Secure Networks Ensure the Flow of Data to First Responders During Disasters</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:39</span> <div><p>Communities <a href="">depend on first responders</a> when natural disasters strike, and public safety agencies must also prepare for the possibility that severe weather could cripple their information systems.</p> <p>Enter the <a href="" target="_blank">National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System</a>, which provides police and fire departments with the capabilities to accurately <strong>respond in an emergency while also ensuring data recovery in a disaster</strong>.</p> <p>NLETS offers public safety agencies an <strong>automated secure alarm protocol</strong>, which automates transmissions from alarm monitoring central stations to emergency call operators. Use of the ASAP system <strong>ensures that first responders receive an exact address that has been verified,</strong> said Scott Edson, executive director of <a href="" target="_blank">the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System</a>, at <a href="" target="_blank">the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference</a> in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9. </p> <p>Edson, who retired from <a href="" target="_blank">the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department</a> in March 2017 after 39 years, stressed that his agency would often receive incorrect or incomplete address information from alarm monitoring companies.</p> <p>“In Los Angeles County, different stores tend to maintain alarm companies that answer the calls to their alarms,” Edson said. “Those alarm companies will then call the local police department. When you call the local police department and explain you have an emergency at 123 Main Street, and the operators take the information. We found that about<strong> 60 percent</strong> of the calls that come in from the alarm companies contained erroneous information.”</p> <p>With no opening for human error, the ASAP system transfers the information to a public safety answering point. This <strong>electronically transmits data that has been validated to the appropriate jurisdiction</strong>, Edson said.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11391"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Mickey McCarter" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11391"> <div>Mickey McCarter</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Mickey McCarter is the senior editor of StateTech Magazine.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 15:39:13 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42101 at The Tools New State CIOs Can Use to Get Up to Speed <span>The Tools New State CIOs Can Use to Get Up to Speed</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:17</span> <div><p>On <a href="" target="_blank">Election Day 2018</a>, Democratic candidates won seven Republican governors’ seats — in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin — and a Republican won a Democratic seat in Alaska. Since November, and even a bit before, there has been a significant amount of turnover in the state CIO ranks. </p> <p>CIOs in <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Colorado</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Florida</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Hawaii</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Illinois</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Tennessee</a> are among those who left their posts since the start of fall 2018. According to <a href="" target="_blank">the National Association of State CIOs</a>, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington, D.C., all have new permanent or interim CIOs in 2019. Meanwhile, Florida’s CIO office remains vacant and <strong>12 states got new CIOs in 2018</strong>. </p> <p>Add all of that up, and there are numerous new faces in positions of IT leadership across the country. Some have private sector backgrounds while others have long been involved in state government. Regardless of how much knowledge they may have had of a state’s technology operations before they got into the C-suite, new CIOs will start with some kind of<strong> deficit of knowledge about departmental priorities, the state of IT systems, best practices, personnel</strong> and more. </p> <p>New governors may need all the help they can get from existing IT teams, considering how quickly the topic can be drowned out by other priorities. To help governors execute innovation agendas, modernize state IT systems or enhance cybersecurity (a<a href="">s North Dakota hopes to do</a>), CIOs need to get up to speed quickly. </p> <p><strong>Knowledge management systems</strong> can help them do so by collecting knowledge and best practices, and giving IT leaders the resources and connections they need to get accustomed to a new environment.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>These are the top state and local government IT trends to watch in 2019. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">What Is a Knowledge Management System?</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Gartner</a>, knowledge management is a discipline that “promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers.”</p> <p>Knowledge management systems refer to any kind of IT system that <strong>retrieves knowledge to improve understanding, collaboration </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> process alignment</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">as HubSpot notes</a>.</p> <p>Such systems can enhance collaboration and help IT leaders find where knowledge is located. They can also mine repositories for hidden knowledge, and capture and use knowledge.</p> <p>A KMS is “made up of different software modules served by a central user interface,” <a href="" target="_blank">Technopedia notes.</a> Such software can “allow for data mining on customer input and histories, along with the provision or sharing of electronic documents.” A KMS “can help with <strong>staff training and orientation, support better sales, or help business leaders to make critical decisions</strong>,” according to Technopedia. </p> <p>There are <a href="" target="_blank">numerous KMS options available</a> for state CIO offices to turn to, including <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and </a><a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Ivanti</a>. </p> <p>And as <a href="" target="_blank">a KMWorld article explains</a>, the KMS model includes content management, information on how to locate experts, lessons-learned databases and<strong> communities of practice (COPs)</strong>. COPs are particularly useful to new CIOs, since they are groups of individuals with shared interests who “come together in person or virtually to tell stories, to share and discuss problems and opportunities, discuss best practices, and talk over lessons learned.”</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>GET STARTED:</strong> Register for the StateTech Insider program today</a>.</em></p> <h2 id="toc_1">How Knowledge Management Systems Can Benefit State CIOs</h2> <p>For new CIOs who are getting their feet wet, using a knowledge management system can help them get up to speed on IT priorities and other recent hires on board as well. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">As Deloitte notes</a>, knowledge management helps <strong>improve decision-making by facilitating access to expertise and best practices</strong>. KMS also boosts efficiency, productivity and helps IT leaders work smarter by reducing cases of “reinventing the wheel” when they take over.</p> <p>KMS also makes it easier to collaborate, which can spur innovation. They also limit “brain drains” when former CIOs and other leaders leave government, in part by capturing both explicit and tacit knowledge. </p> <p>A KMS can boost productivity by <strong>speeding up on-boarding </strong><strong>trainings</strong><strong> for new hires</strong>. </p> <p>If your state has not adopted a KMS, it should definitely consider doing so. State CIOs come and go with time, but the knowledge they accumulate should not.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>StateTech<em>'s <a href="">CITizen blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="">#StateLocalIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="CITizen_blog_cropped_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/matt-parnofiello"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Matt Parnofiello" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/matt-parnofiello"> <div>Matt Parnofiello</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>In his role as Senior Business Development Strategist and Senior Public Safety Strategist at CDW•G, Matt Parnofiello manages technology integration projects with public safety agencies from concept to implementation. Working with the CDW•G team, customers, and industry partners he provides agencies with new capabilities and improved safety through digital transformation.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 11 Feb 2019 16:17:46 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42091 at The Arrival of IoT Heralds Networking Management from a Distance <span>The Arrival of IoT Heralds Networking Management from a Distance</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/07/2019 - 09:00</span> <div><p>One morning last summer, I was scheduled for one of the most unique network installs of my career. It was on the Brooklyn Bridge. </p> <p>It was a sunny morning with the wind blowing gently, and behind me was the Statue of Liberty. It was idyllic, but it was business; I had on a hard hat and safety glasses and as I stood on the historic bridge, which hangs from steel cables that are almost 16 inches thick. </p> <p>The Brooklyn Bridge, an iconic New York City landmark, spans 1,595 feet across the East River, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. It was originally built between 1869 and 1883, and today it sees traffic of more than 100,000 cars every day. The upgraded network equipment was to be installed at the top of the bridge, some 276 feet above the waterline. <a href="" target="_blank">The New York City Department of Transportation</a> assigned one lucky guy to <strong>go to the top of the bridge to access the enclosure that housed the networking equipment.</strong></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11861"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Greg Bird" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11861"> <div>Greg Bird</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Greg Bird is a regional sales manager for Transition Networks.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 07 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42086 at Why State and Local Governments Should Adopt DMARC <span>Why State and Local Governments Should Adopt DMARC</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/06/2019 - 09:00</span> <div><p>Humble email systems remain an attack vector for malicious cyberattacks on state and local governments, as evidenced by a recent attack <a href="" target="_blank">on Missouri’s state government</a>.</p> <p>At a state and local level, there are thousands of domains that could benefit from <strong>the protection and benefits of email authentication </strong>— three times as many as the number of federal domains. However, almost no state and local governments are properly availing themselves of authentication standards that could improve email protections, especially from phishing attacks. </p> <p>As it stands now, <strong>less than 1 percent </strong>of state and local government domains (and none of the U.S. states’ primary .gov and .us domains) are correctly protected against impersonation by using the leading email authentication standard, Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, known as <strong>DMARC</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a report from Valimail</a>, which sells online authentication tools. </p> <p><strong>“We think you need to authenticate all forms of email,” </strong>says Alexander García-Tobar, the CEO and co-founder of Valimail. He notes that email was built to be open, which lends itself to abuse, since anyone can attack anyone else. DMARC helps government agencies stop both inbound and outbound email attacks, García-Tobar adds.</p> <p>According to García-Tobar, one-third of all state and local governments get hit with cyberattacks on an hourly basis, and half are targeted on a daily basis. </p> <p>“We believe that, as an owner of a domain for state and federal agency, you have an obligation to safeguard information you have about users,” he says. “It is impossible for the states, municipalities and local utilities to be able to comply with PII or GDPR guidelines if you haven’t even locked down your email.”</p> <p>Adopting DMARC not only <strong>enhances security but improves trust with residents and private sector companies</strong> that deal with the state or local government, according to García-Tobar. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH:</strong> See how North Dakota aims to improve its cybersecurity. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">What Is DMARC and How Can It Help State and Local Governments?</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">DMARC</a>, an industry standard, is an email authentication policy and reporting protocol that is designed to prevent email spoofing — when malicious actors impersonate legitimate email senders to bait internal employees or fool those outside an organization — which is the foundation of phishing. An initiative of the <a href="" target="_blank">Trusted Domain Project,</a> DMARC was finalized in 2015 by contributors, including <a href="" target="_blank">Google</a>, Yahoo, Mail.Ru, JPMorgan Chase and <a href="" target="_blank">Symantec</a>.</p> <p>DMARC “builds on the widely deployed SPF and DKIM protocols, adding linkage to the author (From:) domain name, published policies for recipient handling of authentication failures and reporting from receivers to senders, to improve and monitor protection of the domain from fraudulent email,” notes <a href="" target="_blank">According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security</a>, setting a DMARC policy of “reject” gives agencies the “strongest protection against spoofed email, ensuring that unauthenticated messages are rejected at the mail server, even before delivery.”</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Cybersecurity-report_HowStrong%20(2)_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> <p>Additionally, DHS notes that DMARC “reports provide a mechanism for an agency to be made aware of the source of an apparent forgery, information that they wouldn’t normally receive otherwise. Multiple recipients can be defined for the receipt of DMARC reports.” According to the Valimail report, of the<strong> 4,273 </strong><strong>domains</strong> it analyzed, only 220 <strong>(5.1 percent) </strong>had DMARC records. Of the groups it tracked in its quarterly reports, this is among the lowest adoption rates the firm has seen, the next closest being global media companies at 15 percent. </p> <p>Of those state and local domains who have deployed DMARC, <strong>63 </strong>were invalid due to syntax errors or other misconfiguration and <strong>132 </strong>had correctly configured DMARC records but lacked enforcement (anti-spoofing protection) because they were set to a monitoring-only policy. Meanwhile, <strong>25 </strong>were set to an enforcement policy (reject or quarantine), protecting these domains from impersonation. </p> <p>Ultimately, that means that<strong> just 0.6 percent</strong> of state and local government domains had correctly deployed DMARC. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>VIDEO: </strong>These are the cybersecurity threats that keep state CISOs up at night. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">How Public-Sector Officials Can Enhance Email Security</h2> <p>There are several reasons why state and local government adoption of DMARC may be low, especially compared to the federal government, <a href="" target="_blank">which Valimail says is now running</a> on <strong>80 percent </strong>of federal domains. </p> <p>For one, there has been <strong>no mandate</strong> that state and local government adopt DMARC, unlike in the federal government, <a href="" target="_blank">where agencies were required to do so in October 2017</a>. </p> <p>García-Tobar says there is also<strong> a lack of awareness</strong> among state and local government CIOs and CISOs regarding the threats from email and how easy it is to spoof emails. They assume that someone is securing their emails, but that is not possible unless domains are authenticated. </p> <p>“Once we do a complimentary domain analysis, we show that a third or half of emails that have their domain or are sent from their domain as them are criminal,” García-Tobar says. </p> <p>Agencies also face <strong>a lack of resources</strong>. “I don’t think people understand that there is an easy way to do this,” García-Tobar says, noting that 60 percent of agencies attempt to deploy DMARC on their own and find it impossible. </p> <p>Another reason adoption is low is because of the risk of blocking “good” emails in order to stop “bad” ones from getting through, according to García-Tobar. </p> <p>DMARC helps agencies stop email attacks and prevents malicious actors from impersonating official domains. The result is that <strong>“people now trust your emails,”</strong> García-Tobar says. That’s especially important for agencies like tax collection agencies that need residents and businesses to trust their communications so that they respond to notices and submit tax returns, for example. </p> <p>Agency IT leaders can work with a variety of vendors to test whether their domains are covered by DMARC as well as how much of their email traffic is fraudulent. That then helps IT leaders prioritize which domains need to be locked down and secured first. Those are usually the ones that deal with personally identifiable information, García-Tobar says. </p> <p>Once DMARC is deployed, it informs a gateway, anywhere in the world, that it should send a report back to the owner of the domain or anyone the owner authorizes. Those reports then show what is happening on the domain — that valid emails are getting through and malicious ones are being blocked, García-Tobar says. </p> <p>“Email is the No. 1 way you can expose PII,” he says. <strong>“We think it’s a responsibility to get this done.”</strong></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is the web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42081 at Why Connected Intersections Are the Backbones of Smart Cities <span>Why Connected Intersections Are the Backbones of Smart Cities</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/04/2019 - 13:21</span> <div><p>Smart cities and connected transportation continue to <a href="">gain popularity with city officials and citizens alike</a>. From <a href="">streetlights</a> to bus stops to <a href="">parking meters</a>, smart cities are continuing to expand their <a href="">connected transportation systems</a>. With many entry points to starting a smart community, public officials first need to decide an important question: <strong>“Where do we start?” </strong></p> <p>One smart option is connected intersections, and the good news for public officials is that there is assistance to all states in the form of the <a href="" target="_blank">SPaT Challenge</a> (SPaT stands for <strong>Signal Phasing and Timing)</strong>. Created by the U.S. Department of Transportation along with the National Operations Center of Excellence, the SPaT Challenge is an initiative challenging state and local transportation officials to create approximately <strong>20 connected intersections in every state by 2020</strong>.</p> <p>Connected intersections are a foundational piece for a smart and connected city. When done correctly, they can support a city’s technological growth by bringing separate applications together. </p> <p>Using traffic signals that work directly with the platforms and network underlying a smart city, <strong>connected intersections can act as the ultimate conductors</strong>. They control traffic patterns, communicate with emergency service vehicles on the road and even “talk” with the ever-growing presence of smart cars. With connected intersection technology, city officials can be confident intersections in their cities are safe, which affects the safety of the roadways and cities overall.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how cities can overcome challenges to smart city deployments. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Connected Intersections Build Safety and Security</h2> <p>As cities continue expanding the use of smart and sensor-driven technology, a major expectation of these investments is that they will help improve safety. With millions of traffic incidents occurring each year, lives are at stake. With connected intersections, the signal timing of stoplights can be prioritized to <strong>best meet the needs of real-time traffic situations</strong>. </p> <p>Relying on communications from ambulances, connected vehicles and sensors on the roadways, connected intersection technology can control traffic signals that correspond with activity on the roads. In fact, intersection-focused safety applications <strong>could help address up to 575,000 crashes and 5,100 fatalities per year</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Iowa State University research</a>. </p> <p>For instance, during rush hour when a large number of pedestrians are on the street, a traffic light downtown could be timed to delay for an extra few seconds before a light turns green to better ensure the crosswalk is clear. This can create not only safer roads, but also roads with less traffic congestion.</p> <p>Of course, citizens want to know their vehicles and personal data remain secure — even when shared with the traffic camera and roadway sensors. Data coming into an intersection network from a connected vehicle or sensor is <strong>randomized and changes every 10 seconds</strong>, which means no personal identifiable information of a citizen is ever shared. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> <p>In 2019, we will see more advancements to keep citizens safe with the use of blockchain to authenticate data transactions on the roads and at the intersections, ensuring all cars and drivers on the network are safe.</p> <p>Beyond physical citizen safety is the safety and security of the city’s network. Each city that deploys connected technology relies on a network to keep the technology up and running. </p> <p>Connected intersections bring information from various network sensors — on the roads, on the emergency management vehicles and even on the snowplows — into a central hub for the data. By bringing data into a centralized location, connected intersections can<strong> help find anomalies across the network and flag anything that does not seem right</strong>. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH:</strong> Discover why these smart cities are the ones to watch. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Connected Intersections Serve as the Foundation for Smart Cities </h2> <p>Another key characteristic of connected intersections is that they can act as the first layer of smart city development for city officials to build on. They are the first step into the creation of a smart city. </p> <p>Because the data from roadway sensors and emergency vehicles can go to a centralized location, the information no longer sits in silos. The integration of this data not only improves security as noted above, but it also can be used to <strong>create a more efficient city</strong>. The connected intersection gives city officials a taste of how their cities can become more efficient.</p> <p>Connected intersections also help cities foray into a smart city with existing traffic controllers already in place to update processes without fully replacing the system. Also, pedestrian safety systems can be applied on top of the connected intersection technology to create safer streets for cars and pedestrians alike.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">What Comes Next with Connected Intersections?</h2> <p>Looking forward, cities will begin to deploy smart intersections at a rapid pace. As more cities rely on the technology to create safer roadways for their citizens and to build a fully smart city, city officials will begin to see not only a wide range of safety benefits, but also <strong>environmental benefits they didn’t see before, with less traffic congestion</strong>. </p> <p>This year marks a turning point for the technology and will be the year that connected intersections are not only part of the planning discussions, but are made a reality.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11856"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Michelle Maggiore" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11856"> <div>Michelle Maggiore</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=maggiore_m&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Michelle Maggiore leads transportation business development for Cisco’s Smart and Connected Communities. She is a professional transportation engineer with 20 years of experience in performance management and strategic planning for transportation agencies and local governments, most recently applying her background to the deployment of technology in the public sector. At Cisco, she advises public sector customers on implementing technologies to support connected and automated vehicles.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 04 Feb 2019 18:21:38 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42071 at