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Minnesota Leads Nation in Cybersecurity and IT Modernization Efforts

Modernized IT infrastructure ensures secure, efficient delivery of state services, including unemployment benefits, public transportation, and state tax returns

12/21/2020 11:45:08 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced that the Internet Association has ranked Minnesota as the first in the nation for cybersecurity modernization efforts in their State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Information Technology Advancing Reform Achievements (SITARA) map. The map is a state-by-state analysis of IT modernization and cybersecurity maturity efforts.

Modernizing our cybersecurity is about protecting Minnesotans’ right to privacy and ensuring the reliable delivery of critical services our state provides, including unemployment benefits and public transportation,” said Governor Walz . “This recognition is a testament to our commitment to good governance and innovative solutions to modern technology challenges.”

Minnesota is one of three states with a “Very Good” ranking and received a higher scoring than any state in the U.S, with a total score of 14 out of 21. Through its analysis, SITARA calls out Minnesota’s established cybersecurity posture, solid IT infrastructure, and strong foundation for an effective and impactful modernization efforts as reasons for the high ranking.

“Minnesota’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that combining a person centered approach with the power of technology allows state government to adapt to changing demands and ensures critical services can persist during times of emergency. We are proud of the recognition of the progress of IT in the State of Minnesota,” says Commissioner of Minnesota IT Services (MNIT), Tarek Tomes . “We will continue to advocate for innovation and modernization that protects the information of Minnesotans and fits the needs of our agency partners.”

Throughout the past year, Minnesota IT Services, the state’s IT agency, advanced several IT efforts that improve the state’s ability to provide services to Minnesotans, spurred by strategic planning processes and the innovative nature of the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response. In March, MNIT enabled more than 35,000 state employees to work from home. The transition advanced service delivery years ahead with expanded secure remote access to 30,000 users and 100% adoption of multi-factor authentication, among other efforts. MNIT also manages over 350 projects with major IT components at any given time. Recent project accomplishments include the successful launch of MNDRIVE , a motor vehicle transaction system, COVIDaware MN , the state’s exposure notification system, and support of the Unemployment Insurance system during unprecedented volume.

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