Amid the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, another concern steadily crept up for state and local agencies — how to confront the digital divide across communities in the U.S. and ensure that government employees and constituents can access resources with reliable broadband connectivity.
The shift in the workforce landscape has made upgrading and improving network infrastructure a necessity. With cloud hosting of services and applications, states understand that privacy and overall end-to-end security are more important than ever. Coupled with the increase in ransomware attacks, states and local agencies need to make decisions on their modernization plans that ensure improvements to their security practices are sustainable over time.
“Everyone recognizes that if we don’t solve [the digital divide], we’re going to leave a generation of children behind, especially from an education perspective, and we as a country just can’t do that. I see a lot of commitment, both in public and private industry right now to solve this problem,” says Meghan Steele, Cisco senior director for U.S. public sector east in a new StateScoop podcast on the state challenges to expand broadband access, underwritten by Cisco and Presidio.
Dan Lohrmann, field CISO for the public sector with Presidio, shares how he sees creative opportunities and programs across the different states, localities, and school systems. For example, when remote work became the norm, districts in Texas and Georgia rapidly deployed mobile Wi-Fi points across their communities to ensure connectivity was accessible to all.
Steele and Lohrmann discuss the value of building coalitions among government agencies and industry experts to understand better how to access resources like cybersecurity grant opportunities, regulations on using different funding streams, or building security blueprints.
Constituents need to be able to securely access services and as stewards of public interests and sensitive data, state leaders need to make more informed decisions that provide better outcomes to citizens and better support services. Effective collaboration at all levels of technology deployment work increases productivity and brings greater business agility.
Listen to the podcast for the full conversation on digital equity for constituents to access government services. You can hear more coverage of “IT Modernization in Government” on our StateScoop radio channels on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and TuneIn.
This podcast was produced StateScoop and underwritten by Cisco and Presidio.
Meghan Steele is senior director for U.S. public sector east at Cisco. Meghan has over 17 years of experience across the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, and now, with state, local, education and healthcare organizations, she helps Cisco partners take greater advantage of funding opportunities to transform the way they deliver mission-critical services.
Dan Lohrmann is field CISO for Public Sector with Presidio. Dan is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author. He joined Presidio’s cybersecurity team to advise state and local agencies on the best strategies to secure their IT infrastructure.