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2022 Network News

June 2022
Volume 22, Number 6

From the desk of the Chief Information Officer

Robert Osmond, Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth
CIO Robert Osmond

Friends and colleagues, May was an incredible month for us. The VITA team handled many changes and events across the board: we positioned ourselves for a new enterprise messaging solution, celebrated our public service at the Virginia Public Service Week picnic, completed our move out of CESC and entered the final stages of building a new VITA home for ourselves. 

As we prepare to move to our new location in North Chesterfield, the project teams are working hard to prepare our new space to welcome us and create the setting for the next chapter of important work that we do. This is a state-of-the-art facility that sets the VITA team, our partners and customers up for success. We’ll begin moving this month and will officially be in the building in mid-July.
Looking ahead to June and beyond, I hope you share my optimism for the future. I have met so many talented and hard-working VITA staff and suppliers that are united in their desire to serve our customers well. I have met so many current and future customers that need what VITA provides to achieve their transformation and improvement objectives. We are one VITA working for one Commonwealth, and together we can make a meaningful difference in the work of 55,000 state employees and the lives of more than 8.6 million Virginia citizens.

Robert Osmond

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

Save the date for the 2022 Commonwealth of Virginia virtual Information Security Conference, which will be held on Aug. 18. Registration is now open; VITA team member attendance will be coordinated soon.
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.
We will share more exciting news about the conference and featured speakers in the weeks to come.
Visit the VITA website to register.

ICYMI: Secretary of Administration's office, Virginia Department of Education and VITA honor Virginia's national winner in the Kids Safe Online poster contest

ICYMI: The Secretary of Administration's office, the Virginia Department of Education and VITA came together on May 25 to honor Virginia student Leila Walton for her big win in the 2022 Kids Safe Online poster contest. She was named only one of 13 national winners. Her entry was chosen out of 260 submissions.
The congratulatory event was held at Ashland Elementary in Manassas where Walton attends third grade; she was presented with a letter and certificates of achievement, as well as VITA-themed prizes. Other attendees included Secretary of Administration for the Commonwealth Lyn McDermid, Deputy Secretary for Cybersecurity Aliscia Andrews, Assistant Superintendent of Data, Research and Technology for the Virginia Department of Education Dave Myers, Chief Information Security Officer for the Commonwealth Michael Watson and VITA staff – poster content program coordinator Tina Gaines, and VITACOMMS members staff Lindsay LeGrand and Nicolle Milesh.
Watch the event video and Virginia’s contest winners on our website

Get ready for hurricane season now: digital preparedness kit

The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1! Now is the time to prepare – especially when it comes to your devices and data.
We’re teaming up with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to help you put together your Digital Preparedness Kit, and take steps to protect your electronics and important personal information, before disaster strikes.
Watch the video

Messaging migration update

VITA’s internal transition from Google’s messaging and collaboration services to the Microsoft 365 suite of tools is scheduled to take place starting this week. The agency is going first to gather lessons learned and implement any efficiencies for the subsequent migration processes. The goal is to ensure smooth transitions and a helpful customer experience.
Want to learn more? We’ve created a Messaging Migration Hub on our website as a one-stop shop for messaging updates, migration activities and links to support and resources. 

Dropbox access blocked on the Commonwealth of Virginia network

Dropbox does not meet COV security standards and is not an approved cloud storage or content management platform for Commonwealth data. As of May 30, VITA has blocked access to Dropbox from the Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) network.
If an agency has the need for Dropbox functionality, VITA has enterprise cloud service oversight (ECOS)-approved platforms that are compliant with the IT security and privacy requirements of the COV, available in the VITA service catalog.
  • Box content management system - a cloud-based, user-centric platform that enables users to easily share, manage and secure their content using any device. Box is integrated with many enterprise applications. This allows users to securely store and edit content with other users in common applications. Box enterprise offers unlimited storage.
  • Workplace collaboration services (name will change to VITA enterprise services in the near future) - provides development for the Office 365 platform (SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive), as well as other available software as a service (SaaS) applications in the service catalog. Agencies can also learn how to develop and maintain these solutions in house.

Rate reduction for Box content management service

Starting this month, the Box content management system service will receive a 36% rate reduction – the new user, per month rate will be $57.35. VITA has negotiated reduced support costs with its support provider and is able to pass real savings onto our customers. 
High-level features and benefits of Box:  
  • Box enterprise offers unlimited storage     
  • Preview files directly in Box; no need to download
  • Create, edit and save files securely in Box
  • Share and collaborate with colleagues and external parties in a centralized workspace
  • Secure access on any device, no software required
  • Tracks revisions and displays file version history
  • Delivers a simple experience through an intuitive user interaction (UI)
  • Saves time by eliminating the need for email attachments 
Frequently asked questions can be found here in the knowledge base (KB0018367). 

Prepayments for fiscal year 2023 information technology bill

VITA customer agencies may begin making prepayments toward fiscal year (FY) 2023 services if they have identified excess appropriation and available funds at the end of fiscal year 2022. Customer prepayments should be coordinated with VITA general accounting no later than June 21 to ensure that the prepayment is posted within FY22. Due to year-end demands, any requests received after June 21 will need to be approved by VITA’s assistant controller before the payment can be applied.  

UPDATE: Internet Explorer 11 will be disabled for the Commonwealth of Virginia on July 19

The date for disabling Internet Explorer (IE) 11 has been moved to July 19. VITA initially planned to disable IE 11 on May 17, but in order to provide additional time for testing and the identification of various architecture and operational exceptions, that date was moved.
While IE 11 will become 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.