The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) is launching a cybersecurity assessment process and will partner with NTT Data for risk and security analysis. NTT Data will work with agencies and higher education institutions throughout Texas to find and understand vulnerabilities.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
For each organization, NTT DATA and its affiliate, NTT Security (US) Inc., will perform an IT security gap analysis, evaluate findings, and provide recommendations on how to mitigate the identified risks and close the gaps.
The move is the latest in part of a broader effort on the part of Texas DIR to modernize technology throughout the state and improve security infrastructure. In August, the Department announced that it had met its target for data center consolidation. Data center consolidations improve security and cut costs. In some cases consolidation can also allow IT departments to upgrade legacy systems. Texas DIR has been in the process of consolidating statewide data centers since 2007.
A significant feature of the consolidation effort is the refresh program which keeps the state’s hardware current, rising from 50 percent current in 2006 to more than 90 percent current today. More than 90 percent of software is also current and therefore better supported and less vulnerable to attacks. NTT’s security assessments will give state officials the information they need to further reduce vulnerabilities.
In September, Texas DIR also launched a cloud services marketplace which creates a pathway for state agencies to procure cloud services that are already approved and don’t require individual agencies to build sales relationships with vendors. Some 30 agencies are already participating in the cloud brokerage program. CivSource first reported on the early stages of this model in Texas when it moved out of pilot phase in 2013.