Illinois Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford this week received the 2023 Thomas M. Jarrett State Cybersecurity Leadership Award from the National Association of Chief Information Officers at its annual conference in Minneapolis.
NASCIO recognized Ford for his role in promoting and advancing cybersecurity in the state and implementing best practices since he took over as CISO in 2019.
“Throughout his tenure, Adam Ford’s unwavering commitment to promoting a culture of cybersecurity, advancing the state’s cybersecurity posture, promoting a culture of cybersecurity, advancing the state’s cybersecurity posture and implementing best practices has been evident,” Illinois CIO Sanjay Gupta wrote in his nomination of Ford. “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.”
Ford has led multi-factor authentication initiatives and is currently transitioning the state’s network to a zero-trust architecture, according to the release. NASCIO said he also established robust incident response plans and corresponding simulations to test the state’s readiness in the event of cyberattacks.
NASCIO created the Thomas M. Jarrett State Cybersecurity Leadership Award to pay homage to the former NASCIO president from 2004-2005 for his passion for cybersecurity. The group says the award reflects the vital role that state CISOs hold in driving states’ cybersecurity efforts.