DHS to assess cyber skills of state, local governments

Thursday - 4/21/2011, 3:20pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Homeland Security Department plans to conduct a cyber network assessment survey for all levels of government.

In a notice in today's Federal Register, DHS says it will be a voluntary self-assessment to measure cybersecurity preparedness and resilience of state and local governments in large urban areas. The agency also wants to know where the gaps in skills and capabilities exist, and what tools are necessary to close those deficiencies.

The goal is to better understand the interactions, and processes governing IT management and the ability to effectively manage operational risk.

DHS will conduct the survey of CIOs, chief information security officers, CTOs and other IT security personnel through U.S. CERT's secure portal.

The survey is part of an effort by DHS to improve state and local government cybersecurity. In its 2010 DHS appropriations bill, Congress gave DHS $3.5 million for state and local cybersecurity training.

The House report states DHS, in conjunction with FEMA, shall brief the appropriations committees within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act on the specific timeframes and deliverables necessary to complete the development and execution of such tools in order to complete such an assessment by June 2011.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update brought to you by Tripwire. For more cybersecurity news, click here.

(Copyright 2011 by FederalNewsRadio.com. All Rights Reserved.)