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2022 Network News

February 2022
Volume 22, Number 2

From the Desk of the CIO

CIO Phil Wittmer
CIO Phil Wittmer
It’s with great excitement and gratitude that I join the Commonwealth of Virginia as its chief information officer (CIO) and agency head for the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA). I have admired the work of Virginia’s IT community, and I consider it the honor of a lifetime to serve in this role.
I am eager to learn and continue to build on the strong and positive results that we’ve been delivering to Virginians over the years. I’d especially like to recognize the contributions of the previous CIO, Nelson Moe. He’s been a great resource to me over the last few weeks, and we all truly appreciate his service to the Commonwealth. I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of our VITA teammates and partners recently, and I am so appreciative of the teams' efforts and of the diligent work undertaken during this transition.
Moving forward, I’d like to give you an idea of our focus areas in the near term. Governor Youngkin and Secretary of Administration Lyn McDermid have both prioritized information technology, especially cybersecurity, across the entire Commonwealth. In his initial legislative agenda, Governor Youngkin is proposing extra funding for cybersecurity initiatives, including an additional $20 million across Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024.
We’ll continue our strong focus on the customer experience, while ensuring that our executive branch systems remain highly performant - secure, adaptable, scalable, financially responsible and innovative. In collaboration with our partner agencies, we will remain focused on a responsive and transparent government, delivering citizen services in the best possible way and continuing to be a national leader for other states.
I look forward to meeting and working with each of you very soon. Thank you for your continued dedication and hard work for the Commonwealth.

Phil Wittmer

Data Privacy Week

In case you missed it: VITA teamed up with the Virginia Office of Data Governance and Analytics to mark Data Privacy Week, which ran from Jan. 24 - 28. We shared important information for individuals, businesses and organizations about taking action right now to learn about online privacy, and how to manage our personal and business data and keep it secure.
For more information, visit the VITA website and the website of the Office of Data Governance and Analytics

Deadline update: Entries are due by Feb. 16 for the annual kids safe security poster contest

Entries are now due by Feb. 16 for the annual kids safe online poster contest. The goal of the program is to engage young people in creating posters to encourage other young people to use the internet safely and securely.
All public, private or home-schooled students in kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to participate. Email submissions to A parent may submit entries for home-schooled students directly to MS-ISAC. 
The top five Virginia winners from each grade group (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) will be entered into the national competition. Entries received may be used in national, regional and state cyber and computer security awareness campaigns. The official rules and topic suggestions are included with the entry form. Please include the following entry form completely filled out (all fields are required) when submitting the poster.
Learn more about the contest and download the 2022 poster contest entry form

SWaM spotlight: Wize Solutions

In 2021, the Commonwealth contracted $230 million worth of business with small, women, minority and veteran-owned (SWaM) businesses in Virginia, solidifying their role in making Virginia one the best states for business. VITA’s commitment to supporting SWaM businesses through increased access to IT business opportunities, statewide contracts and mentoring has led to even more opportunities for providers of IT contingent labor services to do business in our state. This year, we’re spotlighting these SWaMs who are working to provide services for Virginians every day, telling their stories and sharing their advice on how to work with the Commonwealth.
SWaM vendor Wize Solutions and CEO Wendy Marquez have been doing business with the Commonwealth since 2020. Their mission is to bring 21st century employment opportunities to rural communities, setting up headquarters in Abingdon, southwest Virginia, and providing IT services for the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Employment Commission and VITA. “Our focus is not only in creating technology jobs of tomorrow but we have a vested interest in our community: we’ve sponsored food drives, theatre companies, mentoring programs for kids… small businesses tend to go beyond the line of duty and provide a better return on investment to the Commonwealth,” said Marquez.
Her advice to SWaMs: “When you’re a small business, to get in the door, you need a proof of concept that you can deliver… Don’t give up, start small and show them that you can deliver these services. Once you can show that, you can expand and become a trusted partner… After a couple years, we were given a chance to provide robotic process automation (RPA) services to VITA and the Commonwealth – this opened many doors for us!”
To learn more about IT contingent labor contracts in Virginia, on the VITA website. 

Messaging transition: fiscal year 2023 pricing update

As the transition to new messaging services progresses, VITA is providing the provisional fiscal year (FY) 2023 chargeback rates. This is to help agencies make informed business and fiscal decisions to remain on the Google platform or move to Microsoft 365. 
As you may know, overall messaging costs are significantly increasing due to industry changes outside of VITA’s control. FY23 customer impacts use the new chargeback rate structure, which is based on the new messaging supplier. The amount provided by the governor's introduced budget bill includes funding to support the new messaging rates, based on VITA's estimate of utilization at each agency, for agencies that receive general fund appropriation.
Messaging services provider NTT DATA continues to host meetings with agencies to review the technical aspects of the service options. VITA will directly address any questions on these new service rates. 

New smart device use standard posted online

A new enterprise architecture (EA) standard, Smart Device Use, has been posted to the VITA website on the Policies, Standards and Guidelines page. The standard took effect on Feb. 1. 
The purpose of the new Smart Device Use standard is to outline the requirements on what qualifies as a Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) smart device, the constraints under which smart devices may be used, the requirements for smart device management and the rules for employing bring your own device (BYOD) smart devices. 
This document focuses primarily on the rules for smart device use, rather than on the application software that may be deployed on the device and covers both COV and BYOD smart devices used by executive branch agencies.

Android device policy change

Google mobile device management (MDM) for Android has transitioned to a new application for mobile device management. All new device connections (newly onboarded user devices or existing users that factory reset their phones or get a new phone) are required to follow the new rules of business as of Jan. 19.
Existing users that are currently connected with the soon-to-be legacy mobile device management application will require an upgrade to the new app by March 19. If the upgrade is not completed by March 19, users will lose mobile access to their COV Google Workspace account. 
VITA is working to document and test the new setup process, which has been published to the Android section of the mobile device knowledge base article (KB0018423). 

Multiple custom RFS forms available for agency use

VITA is working to streamline information-gathering and accelerate solution design by creating custom request for solution (RFS) forms for agency use instead of using the RFS - general requirements form.
Custom RFS forms – The forms can be found in one convenient location in the service catalog under the category: Request for Solution.
If a custom form is not available, please use the RFS - general requirements (GR) form. Agencies that are entering a RFS - GR are required to have meetings with their business relationship manager (BRM) and the solutions architect to review and validate the RFS requirements together.  

Cloud and security classes are being offered through the Microsoft enterprise skills initiative

VITA is partnering with Microsoft to offer professional growth courses for Commonwealth agencies. Interactive cloud and security courses and training, designed based upon roles, are available via the Learner Experience Portal (LxP)
All classes within the LxP are free, except for the partner-delivered courses. These courses are available to agencies at a significantly reduced cost for the Commonwealth through the preferred learning partners. The cost of partner-delivered courses is the responsibility of the agency. Please follow your agency’s internal process prior to registering and paying for the courses. 
Visit the LxP website to review available trainings and sign up for learning opportunities. If you have technical issues using the LxP, please visit the Microsoft enterprise skills initiative (ESI) support page.  

Information security tips

This month’s information security tips focus on social media. If you’re one of the lucky few who can live your life unplugged from Facebook, TikTok and the like, you’re in the clear. If you find yourself among the majority of us who either want or need to engage with others via social media, then we have some tips and tricks to help you stay safe and secure.

Read January edition of information security tips