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Coronavirus is going to put state IT to the test

State governments emptying out their offices amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is sure to raise pressure on chief information officers responsible for making sure technology-dependent operations continue relatively seamlessly, even as government workforces adapt to the unusual circumstances. Already, tens of thousands of employees in multiple states have been told they can work remotely to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, with more governors expected to similar orders this week. But a sudden surge in the number of government workers reporting from home is almost guaranteed to strain IT resources, and will require CIOs to think strategically about how operations will continue as close to normal as possible, said John Evans, a former chief information security officer for the state of Maryland. “You typically don’t anticipate there’s going to be 100 percent of your workforce that’s going to be teleworking for an extended period of time,” said Evans. “You don’t think about something at this scale and for this long.” Benjamin Freed reports.

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NYC open data targets pay disparity, squirrels

In New York City, you don’t need to have a computer science degree to be a “data person,” according to Zachary Feder, the open data program manager at the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics. You just need to be conscious of your community. Feder, along with representatives from 19 other city agencies and community organizations, helped organize hackathons, surveys and other presentations in New York City communities for the city’s fourth annual NYC Open Data Week earlier this month. One of these was a hackathon built around understanding pay parity as it relates to gender, held by a women-owned data analysis company called LYLAS, which stands for “Love Ya Like a Sis.” Another event invited New Yorkers to be “squirrel sighters” for a day, collecting data and building profiles of the city's squirrel breeds and populations. Ryan Johnston has details.

Utah CIO Mike Hussey named new NASCIO vice president

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers announced Monday it’s named Utah CIO Mike Hussey as its new vice president. Hussey was tapped for the vice president role after the association’s former No. 2, New Hampshire CIO Denis Goulet, was named president last month. Goulet stepped up after former North Carolina CIO Eric Boyette, who’d been serving as NASCIO’s president since last October, became North Carolina's transportation secretary. Colin Wood reports.

Some WFH guidance from CISA

As governments and businesses alike shift their operations to remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, that could give attackers additional opportunities to break into networks in the coming weeks as more U.S. workers log on from home, according to an advisory issued last week by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, FedScoop's Jackson Barnett reports. Any organization that uses virtual private networks, including agencies at all levels of government — like state and city offices — should remember basic cyber-hygiene procedures such as updating and patching networks, staying alert to phishing attempts and using multi-factor authentication when possible, the advisory states. Read more on FedScoop.

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