For how many years now have federal CIOs and IT managers heard the bromide “security must be baked in, not bolted on?” It is one of those phrases that gets repeated so often that it’s lost its meaning, but the fact that it’s still considered wisdom today is itself meaningful.
The uncomfortable reality of cybersecurity is that it remains our nation’s biggest technology challenge. Despite high-profile security breaches that have embarrassed agencies and corporations, keeping up with vulnerabilities and staying ahead of hackers from both a technology and user education standpoint isn’t easy. This task is further complicated by the prevalence of siloed legacy technology, which drains agency budgets and limits their ability to make the most of mobile technologies. On average, agencies spend about 75 percent of their IT budgets operating and maintaining existing systems, leaving little opportunity to modernize, according to the Government Accountability Office.