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Vitaliy Panych Will Lead Cybersecurity Efforts in California

The 35-year-old executive has been acting CISO in the California Department of Technology for two years before his official appointment was announced late Tuesday afternoon.

State CISO Vitaliy Panych speaks during a cybersecurity webinar last month.
State CISO Vitaliy Panych speaks during a cybersecurity webinar last month.
Dennis Noone/Techwire
The state’s acting chief information security officer, Vitaliy Panych, has had his status affirmed: He’s the new state CISO, the Governor’s Office announced last week.

Panych, 35, has been the acting state CISO since his predecessor, Peter Liebert, left the California Department of Technology (CDT) in 2019 and entered the private sector.

Panych is a veteran of state government, having started his career in June 2003 as a network engineer at the state’s Teale Data Center. He joined the state Franchise Tax Board in 2007 as a system software specialist. In 2008, he was named Information Security Vulnerability Management lead for FTB, a role he held until moving to the Employment Development Department in 2009, where he served as security and compliance manager.

In 2016, Panych was named agency information security officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a role he held for three years until moving to CDT in January 2019.

The trilingual executive – in addition to English, he speaks Russian and Ukrainian – has maintained a steady profile since taking over as acting state CISO, frequently appearing in conferences, briefings and other gov tech events.

Panych, who lives in El Dorado Hills, has bachelor’s degrees from California State University at Sacramento in computer science and political science. He has a portfolio of professional accreditations and distinctions, including numerous Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) credentials.  

This position does not require Senate confirmation, and the annual salary is $164,580.  

Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C.
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