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Illinois Dept. of Innovation & Technology’s Adam Ford honored with State Cybersecurity Award | Top Stories | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – The National Association of State Chief Information Officers has named Adam Ford, Statewide Chief Information Security Officer at the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology as the recipient of the 2023 Thomas M. Jarrett State Cybersecurity Leadership Award at their annual conference.

“Receiving the Thomas M. Jarrett State Cybersecurity Leadership Award is a tremendous honor,” said Adam Ford, Statewide CISO at the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology. “The tireless efforts of our cybersecurity teams at DoIT and across the public sector have a direct impact on the government’s ability to protect and serve our residents. What we do truly matters in ensuring the safety and security of our state.”

The program was created to pay homage to Thomas M. Jarrett, past president of NASCIO, for his passion for cybersecurity and honors state chief information security officers for exceptional accomplishments in their field.

This award evolved from the Thomas M. Jarrett Cybersecurity Scholarship, being renamed in 2020.

Ford has been CISO since 2019.

Ford has:

  • Enhanced the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and implementing robust security frameworks.
  • Collaborated with stakeholders and developed comprehensive cybersecurity practices and implemented strong security controls, encryption protocols and access management systems to safeguard data and networks.
  • Led initiatives to enforce multi-factor authentication for network and system access, and is driving efforts to transition the state’s network to a zero-trust architecture.
  • Actively fostered public-private partnerships, which has resulted in improved information sharing, joint training exercises and coordinated responses to cyber incidents.
  • Established robust incident response plans and regularly conducts exercises and simulations to test the state’s readiness in the face of cyber incidents.
  • Advocated for swift and coordinated responses to minimize the impact of breaches and restore services rapidly.

In his nomination of Ford, DoIT’s Acting Secretary and State CIO Sanjay Gupta wrote, “Throughout his tenure, Adam Ford’s unwavering commitment to promoting a culture of cybersecurity, advancing the state’s cybersecurity posture and implementing best practices has been evident. His visionary leadership and tireless efforts have positioned Illinois as a model for other states, demonstrating how to build a resilient and secure digital ecosystem.”

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