StateRAMP Symposium Brings Together Leading Cybersecurity Experts to Discuss Cyber Threats and Supplier Risk Management

by Liz Huston

MGM National Harbor, MD – StateRAMP, a non-profit organization focused on improving cybersecurity and reducing supply chain risk in state and local government, hosted its inaugural symposium on May 3, 2023, at the MGM National Harbor. The event brought together more than 120 attendees, including government officials, cybersecurity professionals, and industry leaders.

The symposium featured two panels of experts who discussed the most pressing cybersecurity challenges facing the public sector today. The keynote panel, titled “Securing our Nation Against Cyber Threats,” included U.S. Congressman Jim Banks (IN), Sean Connelly from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Phil Stupak from the Office of the National Cyber Director, and John Kindervag from the ON2IT Group. The panel was moderated by Leah McGrath, the Executive Director of StateRAMP.

The keynote panel discussed the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats facing the public sector and the steps that must be taken to protect critical infrastructure and sensitive data. The panelists emphasized the need for collaboration and partnership among government agencies, private sector companies, and cybersecurity experts to develop effective strategies to combat cyber threats. They encouraged attendees to continue experimenting and to take meaningful steps even when there is not a defined roadmap.

The second panel, titled “Evolution of StateRAMP: Partnering to Progress Supplier Cyber Risk Management,” featured a group of StateRAMP board members and industry leaders who discussed the progress that StateRAMP has made in improving supplier risk management and the challenges that still need to be addressed. The panel included J.R. Sloan, the StateRAMP Board President and CIO of the State of Arizona, Dugan Petty, a StateRAMP board member, James Grant, the CIO of the State of Florida, Joe Bielawski, the President of Knowledge Services, and Stephen Kovac, the StateRAMP Provider Leadership Council Chair and Zscaler Chief Compliance Officer. The panel was also moderated by Leah McGrath.

The StateRAMP panel discussed the importance of standardizing cybersecurity requirements for government suppliers and the role that StateRAMP is playing in this process. The panelists explained how important it is to keep StateRAMP business-friendly and how they will work to continue to harmonize various compliance standards. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of information sharing and how the StateRAMP Security Snapshot allows public institutions to identify where suppliers are in their cybersecurity journey.

“The StateRAMP symposium was a great success, and we were thrilled to have such a diverse and knowledgeable group of experts participate in the event,” said Leah McGrath, the Executive Director of StateRAMP. “We believe that the discussions and insights shared at the symposium will help to improve cybersecurity and reduce supply chain risk in state and local government.”

The success of the StateRAMP Symposium reflects the dedication of the organization and its stakeholders in creating a more secure digital landscape for state and local governments. The discussions and insights shared during the event will undoubtedly contribute to the ongoing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity defenses and mitigate supply chain risks.

As StateRAMP continues its mission to provide a standardized approach to cybersecurity assessments and authorizations, it remains a vital resource for governments, suppliers, and cybersecurity professionals. By working collaboratively and staying at the forefront of emerging threats and best practices, StateRAMP is poised to make a lasting impact on cybersecurity in the public sector.

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