Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate with Jeff Franklin, presenting the OCIO with a NASS Medallion Award from 2019.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced the hiring of Jeff Franklin to bolster the state’s election cybersecurity on Thursday afternoon. Franklin served as the State of Iowa’s Chief Information Security Officer for the past 10 years. His expertise will help protect Iowa’s elections in 2020 and beyond.

Franklin worked extensively with the Secretary of State’s Office during his time at the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). That partnership resulted in the implementation of election cybersecurity tools in all 99 Iowa counties, including training, monitoring, intrusion detection and malware prevention.

“Iowa is a leader in cybersecurity for elections in this country and with bringing Jeff Franklin onto our team, I’m even more confident that we’ll be ready for the 2020 elections,” Pate said. 

Franklin’s efforts were a key component of the program that earned the Iowa Secretary of State office the IDEAS Award from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 2019 for its “Roadmap to Election Cybersecurity” initiative. The effort was also recognized by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work for the Secretary of State’s Office and look forward to building on the solid foundation we’ve created,” Franklin said. “Ensuring the momentum continues and staying at the forefront of best cybersecurity practices will be crucial for Iowa and our election process.”

Franklin’s primary focus will be researching and tracking the rapidly evolving world of cyberattacks to help the Secretary of State’s Office stay ahead of potential threats and help mitigate them. He will work with other states and Iowa’s federal partners to identify and share best practices.

“Secretary Pate is committed to protecting the integrity of our elections. Staying ahead of the curve with best cybersecurity practices is paramount to our success. It’s a privilege to be part of his team and to continue to serve Iowans in this capacity,” Franklin added.

Jeff Franklin served for eight months last year as Iowa’s interim CIO and is on the executive committee for the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). The mission of MS-ISAC is to improve the overall cybersecurity posture of the nation’s state, local, tribal and territorial governments. Franklin is the third new member of Secretary Pate’s staff whose primary function is cybersecurity. An Election Cybersecurity Advisor and an Information Security Analyst were added last year.

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