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Former Iowa CISO joins secretary of state's office

Jeff Franklin, who stepped down last week after nearly 11 years as Iowa’s statewide chief information security officer, has joined the office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate as chief cybersecurity officer, Pate’s office said Thursday. In his new role, Franklin will lead efforts to protect election infrastructure across Iowa’s 99 counties. The move should be a rather smooth one for Franklin, who has previously worked with Pate’s office on election-security initiatives, including the enrollment of every county auditor’s office in at least one cybersecurity service offered by the state’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, which had been Franklin’s home for the past decade. "With bringing Jeff Franklin onto our team, I’m even more confident that we’ll be ready for the 2020 elections,” Pate said. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Nominations now open for 2020 StateScoop 50 Awards

The annual StateScoop 50 Awards recognize the people and projects who are redefining state government with technology, and nominations are open now through Feb. 28. Submit who you think is doing the best and most inspiring work in tech policy, cybersecurity, innovation and IT leadership. Voting begins next month, and winners will be announced in May at StateScoop's reception during NASCIO's midyear conference. Submit your nominations.

DHS creates 'tabletop in a box' for local election security drills

For the past few years, the Department of Homeland Security has convened exercises for state election officials to test how they’d respond to a cyberattack against voting systems. At a National Association of Secretaries of State meeting in Washington last weekend, a DHS official introduced a new product that could make it easier for local officials to run those exercises. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency last week published a 58-page guide for state and local officials to hold their own drills simulating ransomware, data breaches, disinformation campaigns and attempts to corrupt voting equipment. The document's official name is the “Elections Cyber Tabletop Exercise Package," but DHS officials are referring to it as a "tabletop in a box" that local election authorities can open up any time they want to practice for November. Ben has details.

Colorado hires chief strategy officer to align business and technology

The Colorado Office of Information and Technology added another new role this week with the hiring of Julia Richman, a former Deloitte consultant, as its new chief strategy officer. Described by the agency as a role that bridges strategy, product management, business architecture and communications, Richman’s job is “ensuring that technology initiatives are strategically aligned with customer demands.” The uncommon role was created in Colorado in 2014, but had been vacant since 2016. Richman's hiring joins a number of other recent additions to Colorado's OIT leadership, which also now includes a "blockchain specialist" and a director of its new Colorado Digital Service. Colin Wood has more.

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