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'Who can remember that many passwords?'

No state government’s digital transformation agenda can succeed without a strong identity management program — not just because of the security benefits it brings — but because it makes the enterprise less chaotic, Doug Lange, the chief strategy officer at the Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology office, said during a Scoop News Event yesterday. “When I joined the state literally every system required a different password,” he said. “Who can remember that many passwords? It’s just not a good use of everyone’s time.” Benjamin Freed reports.

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'Foundational IT' is first

Over the past 18 months, city agency directors, council members and other officials in Pittsburgh “caught a glimpse” of what IT modernization efforts could bring to the city, and they’re not looking back, said Heidi Norman, the acting director of Pittsburgh’s Innovation and Performance Department. “Wow, there’s nothing like experiencing this kind of crisis to kick things into high gear. And I don’t think at this point there’s anyone that would argue that expensive IT stuff isn’t important," said Norman, who's overseeing a multi-year modernization plan. Ryan Johnston has more.

Good news for REvil victims

As law enforcement braces for the revival of the REvil ransomware gang, the cybersecurity firm Bitdefender on Thursday released a free decryption tool for the criminals' early victims, a group that includes many local governments, school districts and health organizations, CyberScoop's Tim Starks reports. The decryptor, which Bitdefender developed in coordination with an unnamed law enforcement partner, will aid victims hit before July 13. Read more on CyberScoop.

Can't turn back now

Expectations from the public and business partners of technology agencies are mounting since the COVID-19 pandemic forced government’s rapid adoption of new practices and software, Delaware CIO Jason Clarke said during a Scoop News Group event Thursday. “I don’t think there’s any turning back,” Clarke said. “It’s all looking forward and the expectations are going to be more and more.” Colin Wood has the story.

This is how you audit election tech

The North Dakota State Auditor’s office this week launched an extensive review of many of the state’s IT assets, including the machines and electronic systems it uses to conduct elections. The process, State Auditor Joshua Gallion said in a press release, is designed to help the state government be “proactive in its defense against cyber threats.” The audit is part of IT assessments that North Dakota conducts every two years, and not at all like the partisan ballot reviews that've occurred in other states following the 2020 election. Ben has details.

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