New Jersey Takes Major Step to Boosting Cyber Security Defenses

New Jersey Takes Major Step to Boosting Cyber Security Defenses
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Ongoing recent media coverage of massive hacking and cyber attacks is spurring the state of New Jersey to enhance its cyber security defenses.

Last year, the state spent $10 million to boost security of its infrastructure. Now, it is set to centralize all computer resources in its executive branch.

Governor Chris Christie signed an executive order granting New Jersey’s Chief Technology Officer Dave Weinstein the authority to implement needed changes.

Christie’s executive order gives the leaders of state agencies 60 days to submit a list of outdated applications that need modernizing as well as 180 days to create proposals for how to upgrade them or get rid of them. Weinstein will then have 180 days to submit a plan for reforming, upgrading, and centralizing the state’s computer infrastructure.

According to Governing.org, “officials will inventory computer, storage, network and data center assets ‘to identify opportunities for centralizing common IT functions and operations.'”

Weinstein was appointed to his role in June 2016, but says he has a plan for consolidation that dates back to May 2015. Back then, Governor Christie signed an executive order creating the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell. That program gave state officials “really good insight” into dangers the government faced in the IT arena. The program ca to the conclusion that “centralization of infrastructure was imperative to maintain a certain level of security, optimize efficiency and enhance reliability” in the governor’s office.

Christie, whose term ends in January 2018, wants to leave the state’s digital infrastructure “better than we found it.”

Weinstein said, “I think the executive order gets us closer to establishing a unified identity around IT and cybersecurity within the executive branch and state government. Gov. Christie’s words and actions get us leaps and bounds closer to a world in which we are operating like a true enterprise IT organization.”

Daniel White for TechFunnel.com


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