Cyber-Risks Facing State Governments

Emily Holbrook


December 6, 2012

The bring your own device (BYOD) to work movement continues to gain popularity among employees. But the increase in employees using their personal smartphones and tablets in state government offices has also allowed mobile devices to crack the top four cybersecurity threats for 2013, according to a recent Deloitte/National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Cybersecurity Study.

The biennial survey of state chief information security officers (CISOs) listed the top four threats anticipated to have the greatest effect on governments as: phishing, pharming and other related variants; social engineering; increasing sophistication and proliferation of viruses and worms; and mobile devices. What’s more, the report states that only 24% of CISOs are very confident in their states’ ability to guard data against external threats.

“Through the programs and services they deliver, states have become enormous repositories of citizen data,” said Srini Subramanian, principal with Deloitte & Touche LLP. “As such, the privacy of individual citizens is contingent on adequate IT safeguards.”

But those safeguards come at a price and 86% of CISOs reported that insufficient funding posed the most significant barrier to addressing cybersecurity issues at the state level.
Emily Holbrook is the founder of Red Label Writing, LLC, a writing, editing and content strategy firm catering to insurance and risk management businesses and publications, and a former editor of Risk Management.