Cybersecurity for K-12 could be South Dakota IT’s next big move

South Dakota is one of the few states where a centralized state information technology office provides services not only to its state agencies but to K-12 school districts, as well. Those efforts could soon expand into cybersecurity, its chief information officer says.

Those offerings to K-12 districts already include internet bandwidth, content filtering, email access and other IT services, but cybersecurity is growing in importance and needs to be added, State CIO Pat Snow tells StateScoop in a recent video interview.

“We’re going to try to take those [cybersecurity] services that we have done at the state level and move those individual differences as far as we can,” Snow says. “What that will allow us to do is to kind of get a better measure of the gaps that may exist at the K-12 level from a security perspective.”

From there, Snow says he expects the state IT office can help districts with incident and patch management or any other security needs. That focus on extending cybersecurity builds on the state’s existing efforts to increase cybersecurity visibility across the state’s IT enterprise.

“The thing that South Dakota has as a state right now is being a consolidated state and the ability to see cyber from the desktop all the way through the cloud,” Snow says. “That allows us to do some things that are maybe a little more dynamic, be able to react a little quicker to threats as they emerge and make changes on a global scale.”

Snow on the state’s greatest 2018 accomplishment:

Snow on data and analytics:

Snow on what technology he’s most excited about going forward:

These videos were produced by StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ 2018 annual conference in San Diego.