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2022 Network News

July 2022
Volume 22, Number 7

From the CIO

Robert Osmond, Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth
CIO Robert Osmond
With the turning of the calendar page to July, we are marking new beginnings and major milestones for VITA, our customer agency partners and more opportunities for collaboration within and beyond the Commonwealth enterprise.
You are likely aware that our agency is leading efforts to migrate the Commonwealth’s email services to new service providers. We have made immense progress in the changeover from Google to Microsoft Office 365, with approximately 20% of mailboxes of state agencies already moved in just one month.
On the data center front, our Commonwealth data center move is now complete! VITA recently completed a final walkthrough of our old facility at the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC), which was the final act to close out the program. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s (COV) enterprise data center has now been transitioned to a modernized, cloud-ready platform.
Along with the data center move, our own agency has moved office locations this month! Please ensure to mark our new address for any upcoming in-person meeting opportunities. We would love to welcome you. 
Our work and milestones this month have involved many of our partners: Commonwealth executive agencies. At VITA, we appreciate the opportunity to support our partners and help clear the pathway to success. And these are great examples of all of us working together for a common goal. We are grateful for your collaboration and look forward to a fruitful and productive year! 
With many thanks,

Robert Osmond

New information technology and cybersecurity legislation now in effect in Virginia

The beginning of July is significant in the Commonwealth of Virginia: it marks the start of the new fiscal year, and is also when many new state laws go into effect. VITA is key to two new laws this year. The first piece of legislation expands the requirements for state and local public bodies when it comes to reporting cybersecurity incidents, and it calls for the establishment of a workgroup of state and local stakeholders. The workgroup, which already started meeting in May, is reviewing current cybersecurity reporting and information-sharing practices, and will make recommendations on best practices regarding such reports.  
The second piece of legislation transforms the Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) into a body with members from the private sector as well as legislators, increases the number of council members, and adds cybersecurity to the ITAC’s advisory area. 
Visit VITA’s website for more information on the legislation.

Commonwealth of Virginia data center move completed

The VITA team is excited to share great news about the completion of the two-plus-years-long project designed to move the Commonwealth of Virginia’s enterprise data center from a traditional, on-premise site to a modernized, cloud-ready platform. As of late May, the project is finished; a new data center was developed and opened, the data of all 65 Commonwealth executive agencies has been migrated to the cloud-ready platform, and the former physical data center now stands empty. 
The data center move project required more than 50 move events, tight and detailed coordination and communication efforts, hundreds of team members working together across the Commonwealth, and a shared goal to relocate 4,500 servers and applications. 
“I was humbled at the commitment of VITA and its suppliers that worked on the project and were foundational to our success. Most of our moves were executed over the weekends or late hours on a weeknight spanning over two years. The collective team undertook every move event as though it was the first/only and remained focused and committed during each move event sometimes spanning for days,” said William Harrold, who served as the performance manager for VITA. “We experienced close engagement and involvement of the 47-plus agencies that participated in the various move events and cloud migrations. For me, what I enjoyed most was being able to work with each of these agencies to deliver a successful migration, but, more importantly, to have the opportunity to better understand their mission and how they serve the Commonwealth.” 
The completion of the data center move positions the Commonwealth to increase the speed of delivery through faster paths to production, provide flexibility regarding solutions, reduce operations and maintenance requirements and more. 

VITA's office move completed

In case you hadn’t heard, VITA has moved into a new building in North Chesterfield, Virginia. The move, which took two years to complete, came in on budget and on time. 
While the building is not new, it has been renovated and updated to create a fresh new, modernized environment. Some of the other benefits include a cost savings of $2.6 million per year for taxpayers, and the location provides closer proximity to our customer/partner agencies. 
Debbie Hinton served as VITA’s project manager on the move. “With all of the various workstreams that we had for the project, there were probably about 40 individuals involved in one way or another. Many individuals served on more than one workstream. I can definitely say that this was a team effort, and it would not have been successful without the help of the project team members."
The address for new location can be found on the VITA website

ICYMI: 53 Virginia students named national cyber scholars in CyberStart America competition

Virginia recently had 53 students named as national cyber scholars in this year’s CyberStart America competition, earning cyber training scholarships worth approximately $3,000 each and totaling $159,000 statewide. 
The CyberStart America competition, in partnership with the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) and the SANS Institute, offers students in grades 9 through 12 free access to CyberStart, an immersive cybersecurity training game. Students can play the game to learn more about cybersecurity and build skills that could prepare them for a career in technology.
VITA Outreach Program Coordinator Tina Gaines has worked with CyberStart America for the past two years (previously, it was called “Girls Go Cyber”). 
“The program has grown immensely, and have I seen more young women participate in the competition which I am very proud of,” said Gaines. “I am an advocate for encouraging young women and minorities to pursue careers in cybersecurity and have mentored several college students in cyber careers.” 
Virginia ranked as one of the top five states nationally for the number of students registered for CyberStart America this year, with 24 students named as semi-finalists and 219 students named as finalists in the competition. 

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.

Save the date for the 2022 virtual Commonwealth of Virginia Information Security Conference

Save the date for the 2022 Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) virtual Information Security Conference, which will be held on Aug. 18.
This year’s theme is “Virtually, Nothing is Impossible: Securing the Hybrid Work Environment.” The conference will focus on scalable, secure solutions as more and more workplaces move to hybrid environments post-pandemic.
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.

Next AITR meeting: July 13

Here's another "save the date" reminder: the next Agency IT Resource (AITR) meeting is on Wednesday, July 13. We'll see you there starting at 9:00 a.m.

Internet Explorer 11 disablement

On July 11, VITA will disable Internet Explorer (IE) 11 to provide additional time for testing and the identification of various architecture and operational exceptions COV-wide. The remaining COV workstations will be disabled on July 19.
While IE 11 became a non-supported application as of June 15, Microsoft Edge, its replacement, will support IE 11 through an emulation mode through June 15, 2023. Emulation mode is an operational state that will run applications via a different program. Please note: Emulation mode does not function on long-term servicing branch machines and is excluded from disablement. After June 13, 2023, IE 11 functionality will no longer be supported in emulation mode. 

Review agency pages on

Are you familiar with your agency’s page on Have you checked it lately for accuracy? If not, please take a few minutes and review it now.  
Here’s how you do it: choose the “agencies” link in the top right corner of, then navigate to your agency page from the list or by search. Once there, review everything: your agency web address, description, location, contact, social media and services.  

Join the VITA Government Web Technologists Group

The group’s purpose is knowledge sharing to best serve residents through Virginia government websites.  
More than 150 people already belong to this web-focused peer-to-peer networking group, also known as VAGOVWEB.
The Library of Virginia hosts the group listserv for members and it soon will resume quarterly in-person meetings. There is no limit on members from agencies and all are welcome - communicators, developers, UX masters, designers, managers, etc.  
To receive updates, subscribe to the VAGOVWEB list

Information security tips

This month’s information security tips focus on cyber safe travel.
Summer is a popular time to travel whether it’s a relaxing overnight trip or a week away exploring a new destination. You are likely taking along a smartphone or other device to assist with getting directions, locating or identifying points of interest and capturing that special photo.
Practicing good cyber hygiene before, during and after your trip, will help secure your devices and allow you to connect with confidence when you’re away from home.