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States are dealing with a growing number of cyberattacks, according to a new report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and the consulting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "We see attacks on Texas' system to the tune of millions a month," said Karen Robinson, chief information officer for the state of Texas. "Everybody is getting hit daily," said Michael Cockrill, the state of Washington's chief information officer. Sixty percent of the 49 state chief information and security officers (CISOs) surveyed by NASCIO said the cyberattacks against their systems were becoming more sophisticated. That number is up slightly from the 50 percent who responded similarly two years ago. The state CISOs don't seem to be getting any more optimistic about their ability to stop the attacks, with only 24.5 percent saying they were "very confident" they could defend against them, which is also little different from two years ago, when 24 percent expressed that view. Sixty percent of the state officials the CISOs serve, however, said they were very confident in their states' defenses against cyberattacks. And that disconnect may help explain why states have been putting relatively little money into the problem. The report said roughly half of the states allocate just 1-2 percent of their information technology budgets for security, while the federal government allocates 11 percent. (STATELINE.ORG, NASCIO.ORG)
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