Commonwealth Chief Information Officer Sam Nixon today announced that two Virginia information technology (IT) initiatives have been selected as finalist in the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) State IT Recognition Awards program.
The Virginia Department of Transportation's "Outside VDOT" is a finalist in the "Improving State Operations" category. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) program "Barring Open Doors to Threats" is a finalist in the "Cybersecurity" category.
The awards honor outstanding IT achievements in the public sector.
"We are honored to have two initiatives selected as finalists. Virginia faces tough competition for these awards," said Nixon, who also is the agency head at VITA. "State government's IT staff members work diligently to provide IT services and solutions so that state agencies can better serve our citizens. It's rewarding to see this work recognized by such a prestigious national organization."
"Outside VDOT" is a joint effort between VDOT IT and knowledge management staff. At the beginning of the project, a stakeholder group was created that represented areas across the agency. VDOT works extensively with outside vendors and business partners across the state. Communication is critical and historically has been handled via email and file transfer protocol servers causing document version confusion and delays with decision-making and project deadlines. VDOT leveraged SharePoint 2010 technology to build "Outside VDOT". This business partner extranet provides collaboration team sites for VDOT employees and external business partners.
With "Barring Open Doors to Threats," VITA implemented a full-scale threat analysis of an increasing trend in successful malicious attacks. VITA identified two significant attack vectors -- local administrative rights (LAR) and Java. The project involved updating and standardizing profiles for agency applications that included LAR only for staff requiring such rights to conduct business and patching and providing for a central push of patching for Java. Malware incidents were reduced to the lowest level since the consolidation of executive branch IT services. There was a 54 percent reduction in security incidents between the six months prior to the project and six months after its completion.
Both Virginia finalists will be considered when one initiative in each category is selected for recognition at NASCIO's upcoming annual conference in Nashville. Projects and initiatives from NASCIO member states, territories and the District of Columbia were eligible for nomination, and finalists were selected by NASCIO's awards committee from a field of more than 100 nominees.
About the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA)
VITA is the commonwealth's consolidated technology services and solutions provider responsible for the operation of the state's technology infrastructure, governance, security and oversight of major IT projects, and procurement of technology-related goods and services on behalf of state and local governments. www.vita.virginia.gov
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