Invest in Digital Infrastructure: NASCIO's President Makes a Strong Case

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The President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) was recently featured by Governing Magazine as he made the case for our nation making significant investments in the "invisible infrastructure." Gopal Khanna, who is also the chief information officer for the state of Minnesota, makes a compelling case that includes security components.

The Governing Magazine article, Investing in the Invisible Infrastructure, is well worth reading by both public and private sector professionals.  Here are a few excerpts:

"...Just as bricks and mortar were the foundation of our nation's economic vitality during the 20th century, our Digital Cyber Complex will support our competitive advantage in the 21st century.... "

"Recognizing the increased interdependence between IT and other critical infrastructure, the growing use of electronic automation, and the critical importance of technology itself as a source and enabler of economic wealth raises several issues regarding the adequacy of digital security:

(1) Reduced personnel at remote sites make them more vulnerable to attack.

(2) Interconnecting automation and control systems with public data networks make them potentially accessible to individuals and organizations from anywhere in the world using an inexpensive computer and a modem.

(3) Use of unsecure networked electronic systems for metering, scheduling, trading or e-commerce imposes numerous financial risks."

Gopal makes an excellent case, but he is not alone. The Internet Security Alliance (ISAlliance) recently proposed that we adopt a new Cyber Security Social Contract.  Others have called for the federal government's new economic stimulus plan to include various improvements in cyberspace. 

What are your views?

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