GO-TIME: PA Earns National Technology Honors for Cloud Security from State CIOs

October 03, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf announced today that the state Office of Administration (OA) has won a State IT Recognition Award for cloud cybersecurity from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO).

“People expect us to keep their data safe when they go online to renew their vehicle registrations, file their taxes, register to vote and for countless other services,” said Governor Wolf. “In this digital age, the challenges are greater, the stakes are higher and our responsibility is greater than ever. We can use technology to make government more efficient and reduce costs, but we must always do it with cybersecurity at the forefront.”

The NASCIO awards showcase the use of information technology to address critical business problems, connect citizens to their government, improve processes and create new opportunities that enhance the lives of citizens.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) and Department of Environmental Protection were also recognized as runners-up in separate categories. The three GO-TIME projects were among 11 winners selected from over 100 nominations submitted by states.

“This is arguably one of the most rigorous and competitive awards programs for state public sector technology and Pennsylvania is consistently at or near the top of the rankings,” said Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich. “We are honored to be recognized this year by NASCIO for making the commonwealth’s data and systems more secure.”

Watch video about PA’s award-winning project.

Cybersecurity Category: Risk-Based Multi-Factor Authentication Office of Administration

State agencies are pursuing cloud and mobile technologies to reduce costs, work more efficiently and improve service. However, having data outside the commonwealth network, being accessed from devices and locations outside the office, increases the risk of unauthorized access through stolen user credentials or devices.

The Office of Administration implemented risk-based multi-factor authentication (RBMFA) to provide added security for commonwealth IT systems and cloud-based services. When a commonwealth employee or contractor attempts to log in, the system looks at the type of data or system to be accessed, the location of the user, whether the device is registered with the commonwealth and the number of previous log in attempts over a period of time. Based on these factors, users may be asked to enter a PIN number or respond to questions they created in advance.

RBMFA is currently in use for cloud storage and email, and will be expanded to other services in the future. Agencies will also be able to leverage RBFMA for online services to the public.

The Pennsylvania runners up are:

Government to Citizen Category: myCOMPASS PA Mobile App Department of Human Services

The myCOMPASS PA mobile app provides citizens who have applied for or receive assistance benefits with convenient and secure access to information and services. Users can view details on their benefits, view the status of their applications, update contact information and upload photos of documents directly to their case files.

The app has improved customer service and reduced processing times for the department. Benefits include a reduced need for users to utilize a call center or travel to a county assistance office and reduced print and mail costs. Once fully implemented, the myCOMPASS PA app is estimated to save an average of $3.2 million per year.

The app can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play app stores for use on iPhones and Android smartphones. Since its launch, 102,432 users have downloaded the app, which has 587,949 benefit status views and 94,330 uploaded documents, and the app has received a 4.3-star rating on Apple. For an informational video on the myCOMPASS app, please click here. For more information on myCOMPASS PA, click here.

Government to Business Category: Mobile App for Oil and Gas Site Inspections Department of Environmental Protection

The department developed an iPad app that enables staff to conduct electronic inspections of surface activities at oil and gas sites. Previously, staff completed paper forms and then entered information into a database.

Surface inspections include erosion and sedimentation, waterways encroachment, waste management, and spill cleanup.

The app makes the inspection process more accurate and efficient, thanks to improved data quality, easier photo documentation, elimination of duplicate entry, electronic supervisor approval, and other features. In addition, the number of oil and gas field inspections that DEP staff can perform yearly is increasing.

Electronic inspections also mean citizens can see surface inspection results sooner, since results enter the database and are posted on the O&G Oil and Gas mapping web site within days, rather than weeks.

DEP is developing a similar app for its 32 oil and gas sub-surface activities inspectors. The app will be configured for other DEP programs as well, with the goal of equipping 350 inspectors by 2020, allowing the department to realize an estimated $3.6 million in productivity savings once implemented.

All three projects were undertaken in support of the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), which works with state entities to modernize government operations to reduce costs and improve services.

To learn more about GO-TIME, visit www.governor.pa.gov/go-time.

To learn more about the NASCIO awards and view all of the finalists, visit www.nascio.org.

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