When IT security is a focal point of the State of the Union address, as it was in President Obama’s February speech, government IT pros had better take notice.
Foreign adversaries are “seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions and our air traffic control systems,” the president warned. “We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.”
Federal government data centers are at the center of this discussion. The systems and databases within those data centers house everything from the personal information of U.S. citizens to law enforcement case records and classified intelligence.
Federal agencies have been shoring up their data center defenses for years, but much more needs to be done. Security experts report not only a growing number of attacks, but also successful breaches. Throwing money at the problem isn’t the answer, nor is it an option. The federal IT budget remains flat and sequestration, which went into effect March 1, triggered across-the-board cuts. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, in a February interview with InformationWeek Government, warned that sequestration could cause agencies to lose momentum in their efforts to improve cybersecurity. Agency CIOs have to be smart and selective in how they invest their limited resources.
“The problem is much bigger than it was three or four years ago,” says Omar Khawaja, head of product marketing for data center operator Verizon Terremark, which provides hosting and cloud services to federal agencies. “You’ve got more threats, more vulnerabilities and the assets are more critical than ever before.”
Read More at informationweek.com . By Michael Biddick.