Cybersecurity and Equity in the IT Channel: Insights from Red, White & You 2022 Previous item ‘All In’ Keynote at Cisco... Next item Connecting Communities...

“How can technology benefit a public sector outcome?” This is the question Eddie Franklin, Senior Vice President, Public Sector, TD SYNNEX, posed at the opening session of the 2022 Red, White & You Conference in Greenville, South Carolina. Throughout his address, Moffett continuously referred to the importance of two concepts; cybersecurity and equity. In recent years, technology has had far-reaching benefits for work, education, and more. While the pandemic has been devastating in many ways, it has also highlighted an enormous need for technology that is secure and accessible to all.

Along with accessibility and equity, cybersecurity continues to be a hot topic; both issues have been especially timely with the recent passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the May 2021 Executive Order to Improve Cybersecurity. Though presenters covered an array of topics during the RWY Conference, they all came back to the goal of leveraging technology to benefit the public sector and mission success. 

Breaking Down Current Trends and Challenges with Chief Technology Officer for Cisco, Marcus Moffett
Given the wide range of industries affected by the IT Channel, Cisco distribution partners work with an incredibly important customer base. Marcus Moffett, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Director of Engineering and Architecture, U.S. Public Sector, Cisco, emphasized the vitalness of enabling those who protect, serve, and educate our country with the best technology. Over the past few years, fueled by the changes caused by the pandemic, customers’ needs have been centered on hyper-connectivity, hyper-distributed applications in data, and a hyper-distributed workforce. 

As all of our applications, networks, and systems have become more connected, there has also been more distributed data through various cloud and other platforms, and of course more widespread remote work. The demand is for connection, and distributors can use technology to power an inclusive future for all with digital equity. 

While people are navigating these new norms, cybersecurity has become an even bigger issue than in previous years. From Federal IT to State CIOs to K12 decision-makers, cybersecurity, and risk top the lists of concerns they are dealing with this year. Moffett explained that the key to cybersecurity is security resilience; according to Moffett, security resilience is “the ability to protect the integrity of every aspect of government to understand unpredictable threats or changes…and then emerge stronger.” 

This can be achieved through the five dimensions, which include: Seeing more, anticipating what’s next, taking the right action, closing gaps, and getting stronger every day. 

Conclusion
The past couple of years have brought forth new challenges and new opportunities to connect the world. As agencies and others work toward equality and accessibility, technology is making it increasingly possible. Although cybersecurity continues to be a big concern for the entirety of the public sector, new threats are handled, and improvements are constantly being made to benefit all users.