DAS seeks $16.9M to bolster cyber security

The administrative agency is requesting money over the next two years to hire 24 IT employees.

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The Oregon Department of Administrative Services is requesting $16.9 million over the next two years to hire 24 IT employees.

The agency, which has struggled securing the state’s tech systems, said the money would be crucial for bolstering cybersecurity.

From the Portland Tribune:

Officials at the Department of Administrative Services want to improve management of major IT projects and state cybersecurity, after several high-profile project failures and data breaches. Gov. Kate Brown announced earlier this year that hackers accessed metadata about the movement of information across the state computer network, and attackers also broke into databases at the Secretary of State’s Office and the Oregon Employment Department in 2014. The Department of Administrative Services, where the state data center and chief information office are located, presented two separate requests to lawmakers working on the next two-year budget. The agency asked for $13.5 million to implement the findings of audits of state cybersecurity and IT operations, and nearly $3.4 million to hire a dozen new state IT employees to better manage IT projects.

“(The Department of Administrative Services technology staff) is responsible for the management of over 2,300 UNIX, Windows and Linux servers, a mainframe computer which is larger than that used by the New York Stock Exchange, more than 3,600 networking devices and firewalls, and enough data storage capacity for 700 copies of the Library of Congress,” the agency wrote in its security-related budget request. “These devices are not only located in the (state data center) facility but at over 600 statewide agency locations. In addition, (the division) is responsible for the software that runs agency applications on each of these computing platforms.”

The agency also hopes to strengthen oversight in the wake of Cover Oregon’s failure to launch.

In a 2013 PT story, state auditors called Cover Oregon as “arguably the worst computer development failure in state history.”

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