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Lexington Summit Explores Cyber Security Risks

Cyber security was the focus of a one day summit in Lexington Monday.

The aim was to bring local government officials and business leaders up to speed on both the risks and realities of internet security.

With vulnerabilities like Shellshock and Heartbleed generating new headlines every few weeks, consumer confidence when it comes to internet privacy may not be running high these days. But buyers at least have the option of avoiding businesses with worrying track records. No so with the government.

And Doug Robinson, executive director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers headquartered in Lexington, says that presents a problem. Especially when agencies are underfunded and struggling to keep up.

"For most studies, 65, 75 percent of the citizens do not trust government to protect their information," he says. "So they already have a negative perception. I think that's the challenge. You're breaking the trust equation and you're breaking the relationship you have with the citizens."

He cites a recent survey by his group showing that, despite the massive amount of data housed on government servers, on average states are spending less than 2 percent of their IT budget on cyber security, about a fifth of what the financial services sector shells out.

The idea behind Monday’s summit: Teach government agencies and businesses how to better allocate their limited resources, so the next headline doesn’t catch them by surprise.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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