The MISAC 2023 conference brought together technology experts, government agencies, and industry leaders to explore the latest developments in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). SDI Presence was proud to attend and exhibit at this event. We’ll share some key takeaways and highlights from the show—including the growing concern over cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the importance of AI in local government.
- Cybersecurity Vulnerability: One of the most significant takeaways from MISAC 2023 was the continued, heightened concern regarding cybersecurity vulnerability. Ransomware attacks and other breaches are top-of-mind for public sector organizations. Additional concerns exist for agencies with utilities.
- Virtual CISO Opportunity: Many agencies are seeking to enhance their cybersecurity posture by implementing a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). However, budget constraints pose a challenge. SDI offers virtual CIO options—a cost-effective solution to address this need.
- CISO Independence: Best practices dictate that a CISO should not report to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). This separation of roles ensures a more robust and objective cybersecurity strategy.
- Utilities and Security: Utilities, in particular, expressed heightened concerns about cybersecurity. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS/CISA) has introduced stringent security requirements that utilities must adhere to.
- Security Frameworks: Various security frameworks are competing with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines. MISAC’s awards program highlighted the importance of security, emphasizing best practices for data management, security, and data center operations.
- Ransomware and Email Phishing: Ransomware attacks and email phishing were identified as the most pressing cybersecurity concerns—reinforcing the need for robust protective measures.
Artificial Intelligence (AI):
- AI in the Public Sector: AI garnered significant attention at MISAC 2023, with agencies eager to explore how AI can enhance operations.
- AI Impact on Governance: AI’s influence extends to change control, change management, and governance—emphasizing the need for continued discussions on these topics in light of evolving technology.
- AI for Customer Services: AI’s potential to improve customer service was a recurring theme, indicating its growing traction in the public sector. California City News recently reported the cities of Roseville, Fairfield, San Francisco, and Santa Clarita are all using some form of AI.
- Policy Considerations: It’s becoming apparent that clients will need to establish policies governing the use of AI in their operations to assist customer service and website FAQ-type questions. Policies will need to address the use of AI in external systems by agency users and by agencies to deploy the use of AI. Some agencies may consider their existing “acceptable use” policies adequate.
MISAC 2023 was an event that shed light on the evolving landscape of cybersecurity and the burgeoning role of AI in the public sector. SDI’s participation underscored our commitment to staying at the forefront of these transformative technologies—helping local government agencies navigate the challenges and opportunities they present. Contact SDI today to explore how we can work together to bolster your cybersecurity defenses, mitigate the risks of ransomware attacks, and enhance your overall cybersecurity posture and strategy.