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Pennsylvania CISO Erik Avakian looks back at 12-and-a-half years

After 12-and-a-half years on the job, Pennsylvania CISO Erik Avakian signed off Friday to take an undisclosed job in the private sector. In an interview with StateScoop, Avakian looked back at his time as the state’s top cybersecurity official, a period that saw major changes in how both the world and the commonwealth use technology. It really changed the whole dynamic, the whole culture,“ he said. He also couldn't resist using cyber officials' favorite analogy, comparing it multiple times to a "team sport" — in this case, baseball: "We don’t make the catcher pitch and vice versa. One of the things I loved in the role was putting people in positions in the baseball field, where they were best suited, so they could blossom into stars.” Colin Wood reports.

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Georgia CISO David Allen moves to private sector

David Allen, Georgia’s chief information security officer since 2019, stepped down earlier this month for a private-sector job, officials confirmed to StateScoop. “David has done an outstanding job...and he will be greatly missed,” Georgia CIO Shawnzia Thomas wrote in a recent email to Georgia Technology Authority staff. Allen, who became CISO after several years as CTO of the state National Guard, has taken a job with the IT services provider Ensono. Benjamin Freed has more.

Not the ordinary IT toolkit

New York City CTO Matt Fraser has reportedly been carrying a sidearm to his office, alarming City Hall staffers and possibly at odds with Mayor Eric Adams' push for stronger gun control, according to the New York Daily News. “It freaks people out when they see he has a gun," one source told the Daily News. Fraser, a former IT chief for the New York Police Department, has had a license to carry for more than a decade, a city spokesperson told the Daily News. Read more.

FBI warns Iranian hackers could again attempt to target elections

An Iranian hacking group accused of attempting to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, and attacking an unnamed U.S. organization in early 2022, could once again be looking to infiltrate American targets, the FBI warned in a notice last Thursday. The warning comes as Iran faces dramatic internal protests raging for more than a month after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was detained by Iranian morality police over her public appearance, and subsequently died in police custody; Iranian officials blame the U.S. for the ongoing unrest. AJ Vicens reports for CyberScoop.

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