- Executive Office of Technology Services and Security
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Hosts 29th Annual Massachusetts Digital Government Summit
BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration, in partnership with Government Technology, hosted the 2023 Massachusetts Digital Government Summit, an annual conference, now in its 29th year, established to showcase recent successes in citizen-centric digital services and promote the sharing of best practices to better enhance the technology, cybersecurity operations and digital services offerings of state and local government.
The summit offered attendees- leaders in technology from state and municipal government - with a valuable opportunity to build vital relationships with industry leaders from the vendor community and learn about innovative solutions for the challenges governments face in an increasingly digital world.
This year’s summit included a range of technical and motivational speakers, including paralympic games medalist and Persian Gulf War veteran John Register, innovation and technology strategist Jack Shaw, and House Chair of the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier.
“The Massachusetts Digital Government Summit provides our IT leaders in state and local government with an important information-sharing opportunity,” said Governor Maura Healey. “From the rise of innovative technologies like generative AI to tried and trusted cybersecurity best practices, it is critical that Massachusetts leverages transformative digital tools to improve both the way we conduct business and how we connect to our customers and constituents.”
“I am thrilled that Digital Accessibility and Equity is one of the many important topics featured at this year’s Massachusetts Digital Government Summit,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our Administration is leading in this area with the recent signing of the executive order to establish the Digital Accessibility and Equity Governance Board.”
“I want to thank our friends at Government Technology for their partnership in hosting the 29th Massachusetts Digital Government Summit,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Jason Snyder. “There’s a reason this event has been running for such a long time - it’s valuable. I learn something new each time and it’s rewarding to be part of an event where public sector IT leaders can share successes and solve problems.”
“In my discussions with local and statewide leaders on emerging tech and digital governance access and equity, information sharing is an issue that comes up over and over. Today’s summit brings together the rich ecosystem Massachusetts has in this area,” said House Chair of the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier. “I have seen firsthand in the Berkshires where I represent, the extent to which we all benefit from increasing access to government through digital means. I want to thank the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their continued leadership in this critical space.”
“With the rise of artificial intelligence, we are entering a new era of technology that has the potential to change our lives in ways we can’t quite predict yet. The Massachusetts Digital Government Summit is critical for bringing together government officials and tech industry professionals to share knowledge and help prepare for what the future may bring, good and bad,” said Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity Senator Michael Moore. “I’d like to thank Governor Healey, Government Technology, the guest speakers, and the staff for carrying on the tradition of this summit for the 29th year. Partnerships like these make the Commonwealth stronger, safer, and more resilient to threats like cyberattacks and malicious AI.”
In addition to speakers, the summit also included breakout panel sessions with subject matter experts who held public discussions and fielded questions from the audience on topics ranging from innovation in state and local government, artificial intelligence (AI), digital accessibility and equity, responding to ransomware attacks, and unlocking the full potential of data. The summit also hosted the Massachusetts Excellence in Technology Awards Ceremony, which honored state and local teams and individuals who delivered on high-impact technology initiatives for the Commonwealth.
2023 Massachusetts Excellence in Technology Award Recipients:
- Excellence in Service – City of Peabody – PeabodyConnect Project
The PeabodyConnect app enables the citizens of Peabody to contact city departments, pay municipal tax bills, report problems like potholes or downed tree branches, and find information on public meetings or community events. Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, PeabodyConnect offers easy accessibility to help citizens be informed, get involved, and stay connected.
- Cybersecurity and Risk Management – Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD), Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS)
In April of 2023, IT Security Teams at EOLWD discovered fake websites that mirrored the real websites of Mass.gov, MyRMV.com, and other state websites that provide constituent services and information to the public. The fake websites appeared to be designed to collect sensitive information from victims of phishing campaigns or other similar schemes. EOLWD, working in collaboration with MassDOT and EOTSS, undertook an investigation and response in partnership with state and federal law enforcement officials to quickly remove the fake websites and ensure that there was no negative impact to constituents.
- Unsung Hero Award – Executive Office of Health and Human (EOHHS) IT Asset Management Team
The Unsung Hero Award was established to recognize the work of a team that is necessary, but often unglamorous. The EOHHS IT Asset Management Team optimized how the Commonwealth’s largest secretariat manages its IT assets, including increased transparency for charges and chargebacks for IT-related functions, more transparent accounting of IT assets, and consolidation of software licensing into volume licensing, where possible.
- The Secretary’s Individual Achievement Recognition Award – Sean Innes, Chief Information Security Officer, Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F)
Since joining A&F 2 years ago, Sean has consistently taken a leadership role in experimenting with new ideas and standards that can be brought to scale across Commonwealth agencies. Sean has brought transparency and visibility to vulnerability management within the Department of Revenue, allowing the Commonwealth’s business partners to get educated on exposures and what it will cost to fix, both in time and money.
- The Secretary’s Leadership and Innovation Award – Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Information Technology Team – Work and Family Mobility Act (WFMA) Project
The WFMA became law on July 1, 2023, allowing qualified Massachusetts residents to apply for a standard Class-D or Class-M driver’s license without providing proof of lawful presence. To implement the law and ensure that the Registry of Motor Vehicles maintained excellent customer service, MassDOT IT partnered and collaborated with department leads to provide a robust strategy and governance through an IT Command Center that oversaw the successful rollout of WFMA.
Held at the end of September, the Massachusetts Digital Government Summit serves as a great kickoff for October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, when cybersecurity leaders promote low or no-cost cybersecurity grant program offerings and the importance of exercising good ‘cyber hygiene’ to best help defend their organization from potential cyber threats.
One such grant program, the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program will infuse an estimated $16 million in federal resources over the course of four years to support the Commonwealth and its 351 cities and towns in managing and reducing systemic cyber risks, enhancing the security of critical infrastructure, and improving the resilience of the services provided to their respective communities. Administered by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the grant program requires that 80% of the funding must support municipalities to enhance their cyber defenses.
The new State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program is a welcomed complement to the existing array of existing municipal cybersecurity grant opportunities offered by the Healey-Driscoll Administration. These offerings include the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program and Free Cybersecurity Health Check Program administered by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS) and the Community Compact IT Grant Program.