Ryan P. Aument

10/27/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/27/2021 12:45

Measure to consolidate state’s IT systems, strengthen cybersecurity clears committee

HARRISBURG - The Senate Communications and Technology Committee advanced a proposal that will consolidate the state's information technology under one entity and create standards to strengthen the state's cybersecurity efforts, according to Committee Chair Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York).

Senate Bill 482, sponsored by Senators Phillips-Hill and Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster), would establish a standalone Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the Office of Administration. The OIT would establish a strategic plan for future IT projects, manage and maintain all procurement of IT for state agencies, establish cybersecurity standards for all of state government and make recommendations for future consolidation, integration and investment.

"We continue to see increased attacks on our information technology systems all across state government," Phillips-Hill said. "From our unemployment compensation system to our Departments of Education, Human Services and Transportation, governments on all levels are targets for criminals seeking to obtain constituent data. This legislation will strengthen and future-proof state government as technologies improve and criminals become more sophisticated."

"Cyberattacks and data breaches are a growing concern as our society continues to rely more heavily on technology, and particularly since the pandemic facilitated a swift transition to virtual work" Aument said. "Consolidating the state's IT will ensure that our digital assets are managed more efficiently and safely, with the ability to identify and eliminate any threats to sensitive information more quickly."

The committee held two public hearings in September to review state and national perspectives when it comes to consolidating state IT operations, as well as hear directly from the Commonwealth's Chief Information Officer and the Dept. of General Services.

The legislation advances to the full Senate for further consideration.