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Missouri Cybersecurity Team honored with national award for “Overall Excellence in Cyber Security”

Award presented at FireEye Cyber Defense Summit in Washington, D.C.

JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that the Office of Administration’s Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) was recently honored with the “Overall Excellence in Cyber Security Award.” The award was the highest award presented to an organization at the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 13. Missouri ITSD was chosen for being a model of cybersecurity awareness, infrastructure and practices.

“As cyber threats become more frequent, widespread, and technologically advanced, the State of Missouri has redoubled its efforts to protect sensitive information and defend against cyber-attacks,” Gov. Nixon said. “This award is a testament to these efforts and the hard work of Missouri’s outstanding team of IT professionals.”

According to the award qualifications, “The winner of the Overall Excellence in Cyber Security Award has tools and systems in place to prevent and mitigate risks; has established best practices in cybersecurity across their organization; has provided end-user awareness training and certification to ensure that its employees know and support IT security and risk management plans; and has helped their IT security professionals to better address components of their IT security and risk management plans, such as secure coding, vulnerability management and incident response, and computer forensics.”

“It has never been more imperative for Missouri to continue to make investments in our cybersecurity infrastructure and equipment,” said Doug Nelson, Commissioner of the Missouri Office of Administration. “Our team of dedicated cybersecurity professionals has an obligation to protect our state networks and systems from attacks by identity thieves, hacktivists and state-sponsored cyber warriors. That obligation is one we do not take lightly, and we will continue to deploy and maintain the cutting-edge cybersecurity technology that will help us combat these inevitable attacks.”

In January, Gov. Nixon identified cyber-security as a key priority in his State of the State address.  In recent years, ITSD has enhanced the state’s cybersecurity systems and trained state employees in cybersecurity best practices. ITSD continues to execute a four-point strategic plan for cybersecurity that:

  • creates a culture of cybersecurity best practices;
  • deploys “best of breed” tools used by cyber professionals when defending state networks and systems;
  • ensures swift, effective response when cybersecurity incidents occur; and
  • establishes the IT governance that bakes cybersecurity into routine processes.

In 2014, Missouri was one of only three states in the nation to receive an A grade from the Center for Digital Government in its annual Digital State Survey, which is conducted every two years to assess state governments’ ability to improve IT systems for better operational outcomes and services to citizens.

ITSD provides direct IT support to nearly all of the state agencies within Missouri’s 14 consolidated executive departments and works to provide those agencies with the systems, networks and technical support they need in order to provide services to Missouri’s citizens, businesses and other government entities.

Gov. Nixon has also worked to attract generate additional investment and job creation from companies involved in information technology and cybersecurity. Missouri is home to a number of cybersecurity companies, including Global Velocity, Bandura and Norse Corp., which last year was named the sole recipient of a $1.9 million cybersecurity contract from the U.S. Department of Energy.

FireEye Inc. has more than 3,700 customers across 67 countries, including 675 of the Forbes Global 2000. FireEye is the only cybersecurity solutions provider to earn the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act certification, and their incident response arm, Mandiant, has been the primary responder to many of today’s headline security incidents, from the breach in South Carolina to the Sony Picture’s attack.