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2022 Network News

August 2022
Volume 22, Number 8

From the CIO

Robert Osmond, Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth
CIO Robert Osmond
It’s hard to believe it is August already, but we can all feel it – these are the “dog days of summer!” However, that’s not slowing us down at VITA.
The VITA team is making good progress on some major initiatives, including the implementation of messaging services, as more and more agencies move from a Google-based platform to Microsoft 365. We continue to work with our customers to ensure a smooth transition for all of our end users. Transformation continues to be a key goal as we assist executive agencies with consolidation and modernization. We also remain focused on cybersecurity, building up our infrastructure and creating a strong and resilient cyber ecosystem in the Commonwealth.
To support our portfolio’s programs and our customers’ needs, we are continuing to grow the VITA team. Just in 2022 alone, we’ve already posted 46 open positions, hired 31 new employees, and had seven internal hires/interagency transfers at VITA. We’re proud to attract a highly sought-after, skilled and talented workforce, and we will continue to foster and maintain that standard. Our employees are our most valuable assets, and we greatly appreciate all that the team accomplishes to keep Virginia connected and protected.
We are optimistic about what’s ahead for us in the Commonwealth, and we look forward to working with you all in the days and weeks ahead.

Robert Osmond, Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth

2022 virtual Commonwealth of Virginia Information Security Conference: agenda now online

The agenda is now online for the 2022 virtual Commonwealth of Virginia Information Security Conference, which is taking place on Thursday, Aug. 18
This year’s conference, with the theme of “Virtually, Nothing is Impossible: Securing the Hybrid Work Environment,” features interesting topics and news-you-can-use, all from a very dynamic group of presenters. 
The morning and afternoon keynote speakers are Jeanette Manfra, Director of Risk and Compliance at Google Cloud, and Lisa Watson, Managing Director of Human Resources at Virginia Housing.
Breakout sessions include industry experts from Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, the Library of Virginia and more.
Our Chief Information Security Officer Michael Watson will host a fireside chat with other state technology leaders from Georgia, Kansas and Texas. The conference will also feature remarks from Secretary of Administration of the Commonwealth Lyn McDermid and Deputy Secretary for Cybersecurity Aliscia Andrews.
The conference is virtual, and the cost is $25. Up to five continuing professional education (CPE) credits are being offered. Participants can claim one hour of CPE for every 50 minutes of presentations attended. 
View the agenda and register today on the VITA website.

Save the date for COVITS

Mark your calendar and save the date for the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS)!
This year, COVITS is live and in-person on Sept. 7. 
Registration is now open. We can't wait to see you there!

New recruitment and careers information on VITA's website

VITA and the end-user computing (EUC) supplier are starting a pilot project to release the Microsoft Office 365 installation package for the Commonwealth of Virginia (COV). A general overview/FAQ of the Microsoft 365 project scope and schedule can be viewed here.  
Pilot deployment overview   
User acceptance testing (UAT) has been completed on over 100 devices to date. Beginning early this month, the Microsoft Office 365 update is scheduled to be released to pilot agency personal computers (PCs) and the testing period is currently set for four weeks. Agencies should ensure their pilot device listing is updated. Instructions are provided below: 
  • Please visit the AITR dashboard (in the VITA service portal) and validate your agency pilot PCs (filter by agency) -  
  • Updates should be made using the desktop pilot group update form and guidance on factors to consider when identifying pilot devices  
  • Please read the "Pilot Deployment Group (Active Directory)" FAQs (KB0018653).
The installation package includes Microsoft OneNote, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Publisher. Microsoft Office 365 will remove the previous version of Microsoft Office and installed versions of Project and Visio due to architecture inabilities. End users who require Project and/or Visio must have a license available for a click-to-run Office 365 compatible version and then open a VITA customer care center (VCCC) ticket to complete the reinstall. Licenses can be purchased by the agency.

Windows 11/Windows 10 SAC v21H2 update

VITA and the end-user computing (EUC) supplier are beginning a project to release and deploy Windows 11 and Windows 10 SAC v21H2, as an upgrade to the Windows 10 SAC operating systems for the Commonwealth of Virginia (COV). Windows 11 is the preferred operating system and Windows 10 21H2 will be used for systems not compatible with Windows 11.
Windows 11 pilot deployment overview 
Pre-pilot testing is currently underway with select agencies to gather test information before the Windows upgrade pilot begins. On July 28, deployment to pilot devices got underway, and the testing period is currently set for four weeks. Beginning Aug. 25, Windows 11 is expected to be deployed to all COV users.

Cloud service oversight rate reduction

VITA has reduced the Fiscal Year 2023 chargeback rate for the Enterprise Cloud Oversight System from $703.56 to $478.43 per month. This is a savings of $225.13 per month and is effective immediately. Customer invoices will show the billable service of ECOS03 – Cloud Service Oversight.   
The FY23 chargeback rates list posted to VITA’s website has already been updated with this new rate. If your agency is consuming this service, your July invoice will reflect the revised rate. This rate change was made at the request of VITA’s chief financial officer after a review of the expenses forecasted for this service in FY23. 

Live Microsoft Teams training sessions available for agencies

Live Teams training sessions hosted by Microsoft will be available to help agencies prepare for the upcoming Microsoft 365 migrations. The following will be covered in these training sessions:
  • Key features of Microsoft Teams meetings and webinars, including collaboration tools, breakout rooms and access to meeting resources 
  • How to collaborate in Teams with individuals or with an entire group 
  • How to manage teams and channels 
  • Video calling 
Please click the links below to register for each session. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with an .ICS file to add the event to your calendar. 

E-signature requirements now on ORCA: review period expires Aug. 30

VITA has updated and posted e-signature requirements that are new to the Commonwealth of Virginia (COV). It is located on VITA’s online review comment application (ORCA), for comment. The review period, open for 30 days to obtain agency level feedback, expires on Aug. 30.  
The goal of the requirements is to allow COV workers the ability to securely transmit documents for legal e-signature at any time, from any device, from anywhere within the continental United States. The document’s strategy covers two objectives:
  • Provide a digital document signing capability for COV that meets the legal requirements for electronic signatures.
  • Provide access to e-signature capabilities and features independent of form factor, i.e., desktop, web or mobile, at any time, from anywhere.
 The purpose of these updated requirements is to state with clarity the legal requirements that e-signature solutions must meet to complete the following:
  • Transmit documents for binding electronic signature
  • Establish the ways in which such solutions may be used
  • Constraints under which they must operate
These requirements have been posted to ORCA to allow agencies and the public to assess and respond to their content. You will need an ORCA login to access the document.

Information security tips

This month’s information security tips focus on taking small steps to secure your identity online.
Have you ever taken a tally of every account you’re signed up with? According to a 2021 study done by NordPass, the average person has about 100 passwords and associated accounts (i.e., credentials). Whether or not these accounts are active, we all run the risk of having this information exposed and misused. Given this shocking average, we can take easy steps to ensure our information is protected in cyberspace. 
Information Security Tips