NASCIO Honors Utah State CISO Phil Bates

LEXINGTON Ky., Wednesday, October 14 — The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has named Utah CISO Phil Bates as the recipient of the 2020 Thomas M. Jarrett State Cybersecurity Leadership Award. This is the eighth year for the program, which was created to pay homage to Thomas M. Jarrett, past president of NASCIO (2004 – 2005), for his passion for cybersecurity. The award honors state chief information security officers (CISOs) for exceptional accomplishments in their field. This award evolved from the Thomas M Jarrett Cybersecurity Scholarship, being renamed in 2020 to reflect the vital role state CISOs hold in state cybersecurity efforts and their deeper involvement with NASCIO.

Phil was nominated by Utah CIO Mike Hussey and has served as the CISO for the State of Utah since 2015. During his tenure he has implemented many programs and initiatives aimed at improving Utah’s cybersecurity posture. Most notably, in 2016, Phil pushed to create the Utah Cyber Center which consolidated state, federal and local resources into a single location, significantly improving coordination between all of these groups. The Utah Cyber Center has played an important role in helping Utah cities and counties respond to several recent ransomware attacks.

Phil also implemented a state-of-the-art multi-factor authentication system for UtahID, Utah’s single sign-on service covering over 950 applications and services statewide; a statewide network segmentation program; an enterprise risk management solution; and has worked to improve Utah’s federal cybersecurity audits. Phil also oversees a robust state cybersecurity awareness program and is currently working on incorporating additional artificial intelligence into Utah’s cybersecurity activities.

Before assuming the role of state CISO, Phil was the IT Director for the Utah Department of Public Safety, where he also made an impact on information security in Utah and nationally, having been part of the effort that created the Utah Statewide Cyber Intelligence Network.

Meredith Ward
Director of Policy and Research
National Association of State Chief Information Officers