The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed how county government conducts business and how IT supports those changes. Many of you have rapidly increased county employees teleworking, creating an overwhelming demand for secure remote connections, such as virtual private networks. Other technology resources, previously not used or asked for by county leadership, are now at the forefront. This includes conducting remote public meetings; increasing training and licensing for communication tools such as GoToMeeting/Webinar, MS Teams, CISCO Webex and Zoom; and let’s not forget ensuring security!
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is here to help. There are three steps counties should take to help support the technology efforts of your IT department:
Step 1. Join the NACo County Tech Xchange
Have your IT leader (CIO, CTO, IT Director, etc.) join the NACo County Tech Xchange. Part of the Tech Xchange includes immediate access to a robust discussion group that is growing by the day. Here, IT leadership is receiving regular communications on national technology news, access to free technology resources from major suppliers across the country, and the ability to quickly post and receive suggestions on a technology question to other county IT leaders. Your IT leader also gets access to the NACo County Tech Xchange Portal, which includes a library of IT policies covering telework, IT acceptable use and incident response planning.
Step 2. Attend the Technology Related Webinars
- ESRI: GIS Tools, Templates and Free Resources for COVID-19
- NACo Technology - Cyber Insurance: What is it, Why Should You Have it, and What Should You Look for?
Cyber Security in a Time of Crisis: Technology Resources
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EDT
NACo is pleased to provide a series of joint webinars with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) on Cyber Security in a time of Crisis. These webinars are designed to raise the awareness for local government technology leaders, elected officials, other county management staff, as well as help educate employees and citizens on safe cyber practices in all areas of their lives.
This first one is focused on technology resources, with a vast majority being no cost, available to counties, their employees and their citizens. Facebook representatives Eva Guidarini (Politics & Government) and Juan Salazar (State & Local) will be sharing their perspective as well as tips and best practices to stay safe online. In addition, NACo and NCSA staff will present a summary of the resources available to local government and citizens and how to access them.
NACo Technology Presents the NACo Cybersecurity Collaborative
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EDT
In partnership with the Cyber Risk Alliance, state associations of counties and affiliate government organizations, NACo FSC provides a knowledge transfer platform that gives access to top tier public and private cybersecurity professionals. The NACo Cybersecurity Collaborative increases the access to information, intelligence, best practices and resources that creates an agile, cooperative ecosystem. The collective purpose of this social network is to proactively strengthen America’s counties to better defend and protect themselves, their communities and our economy from cyberattacks.
Step 3. Increase the Cyber Security Efforts
Your county can do several things to ensure that cybersecurity stays at the forefront. This includes additional phishing exercises and education with your employees, familiarizing yourself with the no-cost security tools being made available by major technology suppliers and joining the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). The MS-ISAC is supported by the Department of Homeland Security and gives a county access to weekly and daily alerts on known vulnerabilities. The MS-ISAC also offers no- or low-cost technology support services as well.