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Insider Takes: State Department CIO on Workforce, Patching

The IT leader at a key state department talked to Industry Insider — California about cybersecurity topics that are likely central for many technology executives.

A helicopter dropping water in a fire for the California National Guard in 2014.
Members of the California National Guard assist in fighting a wildland blaze in this 2014 photograph.
This story is limited to Industry Insider — California members.
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The chief information officer at the California Military Department (CMD), the state agency that includes the California Army National Guard, the California Air National Guard, the California State Guard and youth and community programs, talked about cybersecurity initiatives and best practices recently with Industry Insider — California and offered takeaways on patching, an ongoing practice at so many organizations.

Jared W. Snow is CMD’s chief information officer, a position he has held for just more than two years, since November 2020. A 21-year-plus member of the Army National Guard, he is currently an operations officer; his previous roles include company commander and special projects officer.

Snow has a bachelor’s degree in organizational management with an emphasis on project management from Ashford University, and an MBA in project management and leadership from Liberty University. His doctoral dissertation for his Doctor of Business Administration in leadership and management at George Fox University is titled “Exploring the Relationship Between Domestic Violence and Workplace Violence.” He has a High Performance Leadership Certificate and an Executive Leadership Certificate, both from Cornell University; he is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
In a video interview with Industry Insider on Oct. 20 at the California Cybersecurity Education Summit, Snow said the upcoming IT or cybersecurity project or initiative he’s most excited about in 2023 is building and reinforcing infrastructure statewide, including applications, hardware — and people.

“As most state agencies and departments as well as the federal government have experienced, hiring the right person for the right job at the right time in the right place is a struggle, and so really focusing that effort on getting that right person in is key to our success,” Snow said.

Assessment and timing are crucial to patching, the CIO said, indicating it’s vital when patches are needed to ascertain whether they’ll solve issues — or create “follow-on problems” to be resolved. Staffers and executives play important roles in patching as well. People, Snow said, “are the issue and the solution” where patching is concerned, and education about patching is essential across all levels of the organization.

In September, Snow took part in Industry Insider’s One-on-One interview series; find that conversation here.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.