Today, digital security is a major concern of governments, businesses, and societies all over the world.
The US government has it at its disposal Information resource management officeintegrated with the Department of State, responsible for monitoring and providing information technology used in embassies and consulates.
Keith A Jones, The head of the information department of the office, visited US Consulate in Monterrey To get first-hand knowledge of the operations and computer needs of the office; In an interview with the platform Millennium–MultimediaAnd the Jones He emphasized the need to enhance digital security in aspects such as remote work and information protection for journalists.
The Information resource management office It is one of the areas of the State Department that is gaining fame with the advent of information technologies, can you explain to us what the work of this organization is?
As an office, when it comes to infrastructure, data protection, and collaboration with systems and applications, we take it upon ourselves to review technology strategies. Each office has its own technical team. Our mission is to give appropriate direction to 39 offices (from the State Department).
how MRI (Office of Information Resources Management) We make sure to check business policies and review electronic operations. Our business is very broad, we have 3000 specialists globally, and this does not include the local team and contractors.
What is the role of private contractors in your office?
We have private contractors supporting the office. When we deal with a contractor, we make sure that both the contractor and we understand their responsibility to give you the right direction. We try to clarify what we expect from a particular company.
Most of the contractors we have are local, but we also make use of smaller contractors on specific issues.
It was recently announced that they will budget $900 million to improve State Department technology and services globally.
Our budget ($900 million) keeps us always vigilant. We use something we call “for all our services, we always pay our bills”. We are always looking for opportunities that we consider “maintenance and conditioning”, issues that we need to improve and are in line with the State Department.
It might sound like a lot of money, but we’ve actually broken it down into four areas, with security being the biggest resource hog. We usually budget two years in advance. It is not a flexible process.
What technology programs are expected?
We have a section called Refreshments, where we replace all of our desktop equipment with laptop-type hardware. This is a result of us as a government not wanting employees tied to a particular workstation. We want and need to take advantage of mobility, wherever they (employees) want and wherever the need arises.
Our modernization strategy aims to provide our users with laptops, and have the tools to be mobile and not tied to their office. They always seek their own digital security, whatever their level of work, and thus they can work remotely.
What does your trip to our country consist of? More specifically to the US Embassy in Mexico City and the Monterrey Consulate …
This is my first trip outside the US as CIO. I chose the Western Hemisphere for its importance and proximity. I will be visiting Mexico City, Monterrey and Panama. It gives me ideas to put into practice, more than just a business plan.
For me it is listening and knowing. It is useful to talk about the importance of enhancing digital security, both when browsing the Internet and when using a smartphone. People already view digital security as an essential thing in their daily lives.
How are information technologies included in the relationship between Mexico and the United States?
The importance lies in giving us mutual support, whether through the State Department, offices or communications. We want to make sure that we have a great cooperation agreement with Mexico.
The situation for journalists in Mexico, particularly in the Northeast, is very serious. Do you have any guidelines for improving the digital protection of communications?
You have to be careful with disinformation campaigns, and review the channels used to work with the media.
We must be careful to use clean information.
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