The National Association of Counties recognized the Thurston County Auditor’s Office for their work the last two years to improve the county’s cybersecurity posture. The Achievement Award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
“Fair and free elections are a hallmark of American democracy,” said Auditor Mary Hall. “Voters’ confidence relies on their confidence in the security and resilience of elections infrastructure. We are only as secure as our weakest link, so we need to ensure all county employees are cyber aware.”
Auditor Hall spearheaded the creation of the county-wide Cybersecurity Forum in 2017. The forum includes key department directors, IT staff from various county offices, the IT department, the assistant county manager, and other elected officials.
The Thurston County Cybersecurity Initiative has resulted in several long-term gains to the county’s cybersecurity standing:
- Doubled cybersecurity staffing.
- Increased training, including mandatory annual cybersecurity training countywide.
- Segregation of elections division computer network from the rest of the county.
- Implemented multifactor authentication in Administration and Elections divisions in the Auditor’s Office.
Awards are given in 18 different categories nationally that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.