Vermont appoints new chief information security officer | StateScoop Skip to main content

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Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont (Getty Images)

Vermont Chief Information Officer Denise Reilly-Hughes on Monday announced the appointment of John Toney as the state’s new chief information security officer. Toney will develop strategies to integrate emerging technologies like artificial intelligence into the state’s digital services framework and internal operations.

Toney brings two decades of experience to the role, specializing in incident response, threat intelligence, and security operations. He previously served as the first global chief information security officer for City Electric Supply, where he was tasked with safeguarding information for an enterprise based in Dallas, but spanning across eight countries. 

“Effective security is more than an IT responsibility — it’s a team effort,” said Reilly-Hughes, who also serves as secretary for the state’s Agency of Digital Services. “We are fortunate to have John help in advancing Vermont’s security priorities of protecting state services and Vermonters.”

Toney joins Vermont’s Agency of Digital Services at a time when more sophisticated cyberattacks against state and local governments are on the rise. 

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In February, Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, experienced a widespread cyberattack that impacted health care providers, insurers and policyholders across the country, including Vermont Medicaid, MVP Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and Cigna.

“It’s no secret that everyone is facing increasing cybersecurity threats, including state government,” said Vermont Gov. Phil Scott about the appointment. “It’s critical we are vigilant and prepared, and John brings a wealth of experience to help lead our efforts.”

Toney also spent 10 years as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service, specializing in network intrusion crimes and critical systems protection. He served on multiple protection details at the White House, U.S. Naval Observatory, and Department of Homeland Security 

“My mission is to build healthy, inclusive, and highly effective security teams that protect assets, individuals, and reputation,” Toney wrote in his LinkedIn bio, which already reflects his new position in Vermont. 

Sophia Fox-Sowell

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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