A new cybersecurity survey by the Public Technology Institute (PTI) finds that that nearly two-thirds of state and local IT officials believe their budgets are inadequate to support their cybersecurity programs.

The survey, conducted in September and October 2023, also finds that many local government IT officials need help to keep up with the changing cybersecurity landscape.

“Local government IT executives are not only dealing with threats by outside actors, they are dealing with internal threats,” said PTI Executive Director Alan Shark.

He cited government concerns as including “the continuing need to educate employees on their role in securing the organization, coping with often limited budgets and lack of resources, and competition in terms of finding and keeping qualified cyber staff.”

The survey finds the following factors to be some of the most pervasive cybersecurity challenges facing local governments:

  • 64 percent of cyber officials said their funding was inadequate;
  • 54 percent of respondents stated that a third party conducts cybersecurity checks on their systems on an annual basis;
  • 42 percent of local government officials participate in cybersecurity awareness training once a year; and
  • 44 percent of respondents had some degree of confidence in cybersecurity measures for their cloud services.

“While there are some alarming findings found in the survey not all is bad news. The good news is that there is hope,” said Shark.

“Numerous examples exist of successful vendor and partner engagement,” he said. “There is increasing recognition by elected officials that cybersecurity is a priority, there is increased resource sharing between state and local government, and many organizations are implementing programs that promote cross- training, internships, and other opportunities to improve the skills of our cyber workforce,” added Shark.

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