Illinois CISO Adam Ford steps down for role at cyber firm Zscaler

Adam Ford, Illinois' top cybersecurity official and a state employee since 2000, announced he's taken a role in the private sector.
Illinois capitol building
(Getty Images)

After five years as chief information security officer for the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology, Adam Ford has moved into a new role at Zscaler, a cloud security company in San Jose, California.

Ford worked for the state of Illinois since 2000, starting his government tenure as a network architect and engineer. In 2023, he was the recipient of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ Thomas M. Jarrett State Cybersecurity Leadership Award for strengthening the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure, multi-factor authentication initiatives for network and system access and the improvements he made to information sharing, joint training exercises and coordinated responses to cyber incidents across state government agencies.

Prior to his departure, Ford posted on social media thanking the state’s administration for “strong sponsorship of cybersecurity initiatives” and the technology department’s leadership.


“In my more than 20 years with the state of Illinois, I’ve never failed to be impressed by the people who work here,” Ford wrote on LinkedIn earlier this week. “Public service isn’t all glamour, folks! Thank you to all my co-workers at DoIT and other agencies for putting in long hours, for wading into seemingly impossible problems and solving them, and for your friendship while doing so.”

The CISO position at the Illinois DoIT is open to applications until Jan. 19.

Sophia Fox-Sowell

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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