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In Arkansas, Askins Wants a More Proactive Cyber Approach

Arkansas Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Askins wants to evolve the state’s current cybersecurity practices from react-and-respond mode to more of a risk management strategy.

Arkansas Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Askins.jpg
Government Technology/David Kidd
Jonathan Askins has been leading technology for the state of Arkansas as CTO since the end of December 2020. One of the major projects on his plate is a major data center migration that will move Arkansas away from its decentralized environment. At last week's NASCIO Midyear Conference, we talked to Askins about his cybersecurity strategy in the midst of this transition.

"We have a centralized environment stood up at this point so as we begin to migrate agencies in, we will protect them with a zero-trust architecture," he said, adding that the state will continue to support existing legacy architectures until all of the agencies migrate to the new environment.

Askins also aspires to a new level of maturity for Arkansas' broader cybersecurity strategy. Here, he explains what a more risk-oriented approach would look like.

Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including Government Technology, Governing, Industry Insider, Emergency Management and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history.
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.