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Ohio Gov. DeWine Appoints Cyber Advisor to Newly Formed Post

Kirk Herath has been appointed Cybersecurity Strategic Advisor, a new position announced this week by Gov. Mike DeWine. Herath currently serves as the chairman of CyberOhio, a state cybersecurity advisory board.

The Ohio capitol building in Columbus.
Kirk Herath has been appointed to the role of cybersecurity strategic advisor, a newly created position created within Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration. Herath, who serves at the chairman of CyberOhio, will lead cybersecurity initiatives across a range of departments such as Administrative Services, Adjutant General and Public Safety.

“Throughout my tenure as governor, my administration has worked to stay ahead of the curve in being prepared to prevent cyberattacks against state government, but we can always do more to be prepared,” DeWine said in a press release. “Kirk Herath has decades of experience in cybersecurity and data privacy. I am pleased that Kirk will bring this expertise to the state to ensure Ohio leads the nation in cybersecurity and resiliency and its cybersecurity workforce.”

In addition to serving as chairman of CyberOhio, an advisory board formed in 2016, Herath is also a an adjunct law professor Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law and Cleveland State’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He served as a principal at Pillars Consulting Group, focusing on data protection, privacy and cybersecurity law.

From 2005 to 2011, Herath served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

Cybersecurity, data protection and related areas routinely find themselves among IT professionals' top concerns, as government agencies at all levels take steps to shore up defenses from hackers and other bad actors. States like Illinois require cybersecurity training for employees, while other states like Colorado are considering new laws to expand cybersecurity efforts. Meanwhile, universities are launching cybersecurity areas of study.

“With cyber threats changing every day, the creation of this new position is critical to help keep our state safe,” said Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in the release.