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New Jersey Names First Director for State’s Lead Cybersecurity Collective

New Jersey homeland security officials appointed Mike Geraghty as head of the state's Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell, and as acting chief information security officer for the state.

The New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) announced new leadership on July 6 with the appointment of its first director.

Mike Geraghty, a longtime cybersecurity professional, was appointed by the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) Director Chris Rodriguez. The public safety agency oversees the integrated cybersecurity group, which was created by Gov. Chris Christie in 2015.

In tandem with his directorship, Geraghty will also assume the duties of acting state chief information security officer (CISO). Former CISO Dave Weinstein was appointed as chief technology officer in June 2016.

According to NJOHSP Deputy Director Steven Gutkin, the appointment signals a very clear message from leadership that the NJCCIC has solidified its place as a valuable resource.

“Since Gov. Christie's signing of Executive Order 178 in May 2015, the NJCCIC has been quite successful in meeting the demand from the public and private sector for cyberthreat intelligence," he told Government Technology via email. "The NJCCIC's expanding mission scope requires someone who is dedicated to overseeing day-to-day operations, especially as we anticipate exponential growth of membership and new service offerings for the public to increase their awareness of real-time cyberthreats …"

Plans to expands the cybersecurity group’s mission is largely the reason officials are confident in their choice for the agency’s leadership. 

Prior to his appointment, Geraghty served in both the public and private sectors. His experience includes serving as the chief information security officer (CISO) for the Hudson Bay Company, as CIO for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and 12 years with the New Jersey State Police, where he led efforts to create the High Technology Crimes Investigations unit.

“Mike's experience fits extremely well with our cybersecurity mission, which is to serve governments, businesses, and citizens across New Jersey by promoting better awareness of cyber threats and the adoption of best practices,” Gutkin said. “His experience as the CISO of a global retail business group, a nationally known nonprofit organization, and 12 years in state government uniquely positions him to bring the public/private-sector perspectives to this critically important mission.”

As a result of Geraghty’s new role, Gutkin said the agency's near-term goals will include broadening the membership of the cybersecurity cell, reaching outside agency partners through the use of memorandums of understanding, and expanding the use of automated intelligence exchange between the public and private sectors.

Eyragon Eidam is the Web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at eeidam@erepublic.com.
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