‘Anything’s doable’ in cybersecurity, Oklahoma CISO says

With the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency not expected to publish its guidance on the new federal cyber grants until next month, states will have a short window to apply for and execute the first round of the program.

States also need to figure out several components to get the money, including creating cyber policy committees, putting up matching funds and figuring out how the required 80% of funds will be redistributed to local governments.

Oklahoma Chief Information Security Officer Matt Singleton told StateScoop recently that he believes his state will be able to move nimbly when the grants come through.

“That is a pretty quick turnaround time if you’re looking at dispersing the funds from the grants before the end of the federal fiscal year,” he said at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference in National Harbor, Maryland. “You might be looking at less than 90 days to get through that process.”

But, Singleton said, “anything’s doable.”

The Oklahoma CISO chalked up his readiness to the many improvements Oklahoma’s made over the past two years, including an 18-month stretch in which his office replaced its entire software stack, a process that included 38 separate implementations. Now comes finding people to manage those changes.

“We’re going to spend the next 12 months maturing … hiring a ton of talent,” he said. “By and large, folks want to come work in cybersecurity.”

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