July 20

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The importance of end user training and awareness cannot be overemphasized when it comes to reducing cybersecurity risk in state and local government. Many times, agencies implement sophisticated technologies only to have cybercriminals target an unsuspecting employee and gain access to systems and data.

As agencies will likely continue with remote and hybrid work for the long term, it’s critical they heighten awareness among employees and implement robust training processes to protect the enterprise.

Join Government Technology and Governing on July 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern as our experts look at key questions government technology leaders have around employee cybersecurity training and how to ensure your workforce models and behaviors are secure.

Register here and get answers to questions including:

• What are the challenges with ensuring employees are trained and aware of their role in preventing cyber breaches?
• How has remote work impacted employee working practices in ensuring cybersecurity and protecting sensitive data?
• What role does social media play in increasing vulnerabilities and how can CIOs and CISOs best confront this?



Teri Takai — Moderator

Vice President, Center for Digital Government

Teri Takai is the Vice President of the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. She worked for Ford Motor Company for 30 years in global application development and information technology strategic planning. From Ford, she moved to EDS in support of General Motors.
A long-time interest in public service led her to the government sector, first as CIO of the State of Michigan, then as CIO of the State of California, and subsequently the CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense, the first woman appointed to this role. She then served as the CIO for Meridian Health Plan. She is a member of several industry advisory boards.


T.J. Fields

Chief Information Security Officer, Oakland County, Michigan

T.J. Fields joined our team in October 2019 as our IT Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). is an innovative information technology leader with over 20 years of experience in the private sector, having led security teams at multiple firms including FCA, GM and OnStar and brings a broad and deep background in multiple security disciplines.

The CISO is responsible for managing Oakland County’s IT Security Program, including maintaining and validating an Information Risk Management Program to ensure that information assets are adequately protected. He is also responsible for identifying, evaluating, and reporting on information security risks in a manner that meets compliance and regulatory requirements.


Erik Avakian

Chief Information Security Office, Pennsylvania

Erik Avakian was named Chief Information Security Officer for the commonwealth in 2010.

Erik joined the commonwealth in 2005 and became Deputy CISO in 2007. He has over 17 years experience in securing enterprise-level environments and is an expert in reducing risk and mapping security to the business. He has extensive experience in security governance, risk management, compliance and incident response and remediation. As CISO. Erik is responsible for establishing enterprise security strategy, standards, controls, and security policies and lead the Enterprise Information Security Office, which defends against cyber attacks, reduces the commonwealth's vulnerability to cyber attacks, and minimize the damage and recovery time from attacks if and when they occur.