Peter Romness is passionate about cybersecurity. He has been working with government customers for nearly 35 years and now, as cybersecurity principal in the CISO Advisor’s Office at Cisco, he focuses on protecting government networks from cyber threats. MeriTalk recently sat down with Romness to discuss how state and local governments and higher educational institutions are investing and gaining knowledge to guard against cyberattacks.


Ninety-seven percent of local government IT executives listed cybersecurity as a key priority for the current fiscal year (FY), according to the tenth annual State of City and County IT National Survey administered by CompTIA’s Public Technology Institute (PTI).


In a recent survey from MeriTalk and Invicti, 91 percent of 100 state and local government IT decision-makers said their organization’s pace of cybersecurity improvements increased over the past year. They have good reasons for accelerating change.

The White House said today it has lined up 20 service providers that will offer high-speed broadband service within the price points set forth in the government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and also went live with a Federal website that people can use to find the services.

State and local governments (SLGs) are taking a page from Federal Cloud First and Cloud Smart modernization initiatives to sunset legacy systems and migrate to the cloud. Modernization efforts have been a top priority for over a decade, with cloud first appearing on NASCIO’s State CIO Top Ten priorities list in 2010 and making the list ever since.

With state and local governments (SLGs) becoming more tempting targets for cyberattacks every day, Federal and SLG experts are increasingly urging the importance of communication between the public and private sector in order to achieve a unified and stronger American cybersecurity posture.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to replace its Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) with a modern platform to better share information with Federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, international, and private sector decision-makers and first responders.


New legislation introduced by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and John Cornyn, R-Texas would codify into Federal law the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program, and provide for a pilot program for state and local governments to deploy the cybersecurity technologies that the CDM program offers.

Thirty-six percent of state and local government employees are considering changing jobs after  working through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the MissionSquare Research Institute.

1 2

Stay Connected