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National Guard cyber units ready up for another election

Fourteen states have activated cyber units in their National Guards to help protect election officials’ networks from malicious activity during next Tuesday’s midterm vote. The posture has become a familiar feature of election security activities since 2016, when Russian attempts to access some states’ voter registration systems set off new interest in the cybersecurity of voting technology. “Not everyone’s doing it, and those that are have invested in cyber talent and cyber missions for years," Brig. Gen. Gent Welsh, the commander of the Washington Air National Guard, said Friday on a conference call with reporters.<span> "If you don’t have a cyber unit in your state you’re not in a good position to help them protect elections.”</span> Benjamin Freed reports.

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Shawn Riley looks to clean energy and crypto in post-CIO life

On the latest episode of Priorities, North Dakota CIO Shawn Riley explains his decision to leave state government next month for a role with Bitzero International, a cryptocurrency-mining and energy-development company. “I left the normal private sector to go to the health care private sector because I wanted to make the world better for people,” Riley said. “I left health care to go to government, because they made this opportunity to make the world better for people. And I’m leaving government to go back to the private sector again because of the same thing.” Listen to the podcast.

Washington state hires Los Angeles Times CISO as new cyber chief

Washington officials announced Thursday that Ralph Johnson, currently the CISO for NantMedia, a newspaper holding company that owns the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, will be the new statewide CISO. Johnson, who had previously worked as the top information security official in Los Angeles County and King County, Washington, fills a gap at Washington Technology Solutions left in March by the departure of former state CISO Vinod Brahmapuram. Johnson's move will also reunite him with Washington CIO Bill Kehoe, who previously served as CIO in both counties. Ben has more.

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