June 2, 2021 – State Chief Information Officer Amy Tong and State Chief Information Security Officer Vitaliy Panych received State Scoop 50 Awards for their tireless efforts to make a positive impact in the government IT community and in public service. On June 2, Tong received a Golden Gov Award for her work as a visionary state executive leading state government into a new technology landscape. Panych received a Cybersecurity Leader of the Year award for his passion and focus on keeping government systems secure.
Tong recounted how 2020 was a transformative year for state technology in many ways: tech leaders had to make on-the-spot decisions with no time for debate; projects mandated faster-than-ever paced procurements; and it took a herculean effort to move the majority of California’s state workforce from on-site to remote work at the flip of a switch. In fact, the California Department of Technology became the central hub for remote work and moved 80 percent of eligible state workers to a remote environment. Also under Tong’s leadership, CDT rolled up its collective sleeves and helped other state departments overcome severe backlogs and provide important system upgrades.
Panych is responsible for the security of the largest collection of digital information assets in the country that experience more than 225 million malicious probes each day. He reflected on 2020 as being the year of increased and significant cyberattacks on government and private networks alike, and the need to move quickly and effectively to establish an armory of defenses. His efforts helped expand the California Cybersecurity Integration Center’s capabilities to assist more local government agencies. Under Panych’s leadership, the state is shifting from point-in-time reviews to continuous, real-time scanning of agencies’ networks to reduce exposure time to potential threats after detecting vulnerabilities.
The State Scoop 50 Awards process began in February when members of state and local IT communities nominated thousands of leaders and projects for the awards. Award organizers narrowed the list to those finalists who received the most nominations. State Scoop readers cast more than 3 million votes nationally between March and April to select the final winners.
Congratulations to all award recipients!