California IT Security Chief Resigns - InformationWeek

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California IT Security Chief Resigns

Mark Weatherford, the second top manager in California's IT department to depart in the last two months, is leaving for an electric power industry group.

Another top manager is leaving California's IT department, which is currently in a state of flux as it tries to improve operations and make better use of technology to engage with the public.

Chief Information Security Officer Mark Weatherford is leaving the department next month to take a new position as vice president and chief security officer with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, an electric power industry group.

Weatherford is the second top manager in California's IT department to leave in the last two months, and the state's CIO is awaiting a federal appointment that will take her away from the department as well.

Last month, CTO P.K. Agarwal left to take a position as CEO of nonprofit TiE Global. He was replaced by Adrian Farley, a former chief deputy for the CIO's office.

Meanwhile Teri Takai, California's CIO, is waiting for confirmation as new CIO and assistant secretary for networks and information integration at the Department of Defense.

During his two years in California, Weatherford oversaw the release of a strategic cybersecurity plan for the state, the first of its kind there.

That plan included the creation of the California Information Security Operations Center (CA-ISOC) to detect cyber attacks and intrusions across all state government agencies and to coordinate support for networks in the state that need security help.

According to a published report, Weatherford will be pursuing federal grants to help fund the center in his remaining days on the job.

Weatherford also tried to coordinate cybersecurity efforts throughout the state and develop cybersecurity policy.

The changes in management come as California is in the midst of a major data center-consolidation plan that aims to reduce its data center space 50 percent by July 2011 and to cut energy usage from IT operations 30 percent by July 2012. The state also is consolidating other systems to make its IT operations run more efficiently.

A recent published report said the state has made significant progress on its plan. According to a report in Government Technology, California has nearly finished a migration to a common e-mail filter, and its plans for a hosted e-mail solution will be completed by June 2011.

The state also has reduced its total data-center square footage by about 25 percent by closing the Sacramento Cannery data center earlier this week, the report said.

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