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Chapter XXXVII. Practical Measures for S... > FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

Although numerous studies have been done on e-government, very little attention has been paid to information security threats at the state and local government levels and their impacts on the effective discharge of government responsibilities. An empirical investigation into the degree of state and local government information security vulnerabilities, threats and exploits, and their relationships to agencies' ability to accomplish their missions and effectively manage emergencies is warranted. Homeland Security Presidential Directive, HSPD-7 (2003) declares, "It is the policy of the United States to enhance the protection of our Nation's critical infrastructure and key resources against terrorist acts that could…undermine State and local government capacities to maintain order and to deliver minimum essential public services." It also designates "emergency services," most of which are delivered by state and local authorities, as being among the nation's "critical infrastructure sectors." Considering the fact that the nation's information infrastructure is constantly under attack, a study of the interrelationships between information security vulnerabilities, threats and exploits, and the ability to provide essential public services and maintain emergency preparedness will be beneficial.

This chapter outlined the steps that a local government entity can take to implement a network that balances the need for security and cost effectiveness. The concept of appropriate balance between information security needs and cost effectiveness is relatively new in the public sector and is worthy of empirical investigation. For example, under what conditions can a state or local government agency be preoccupied with information security threat concerns and allocate resources that would otherwise be deployed for competing social services? How could such resource allocations be justified? How and when will the government agency determine the equilibrium between information security needs and cost effectiveness? What are the policy implications of information security management strategies that prioritize the addressing of threats over cost effectiveness, and vice versa? These questions and many more could be answered through empirical studies.


  

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