Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  During October 2023, the Commonwealth Office of Technology offered several ways for state staff to engage in cybersecurity events. 

COT management sponsored four drawings for cybersecurity event participants to win Amazon gift cards and one drawing from among those with highest participation entries to win an Amazon gift card.

Winners of the drawings:

$25 gift cards
Jennifer Wright (ELC)
Amy Phelps (CHFS)
Christy Ison (ELC)
Michael Fries (KDVA)

$50 gift card 
Angela Cronin (CHFS)

State staff gained entries in the drawings in the following ways:

  • One entry for participation in each event of the virtual presentations listed below on this web page. 
  • One entry for each answer to security quiz questions emailed once a week throughout October 2023 (from  
  • One entry for each report of a phishing email during the month of October 2023 by using the Report Phish/ PhishAlarm button in Outlook or by sending the suspect email as an attachment to "COT Phishing Reporting" ( 
  • One entry for providing a cybersecurity suggestion to during the month of October 2023.​
  • One entry for replying to feedback requests sent to presentation participants after each sponsored session (from


COT partners with Crowe LLP and other vendors to provide presentations throughout the month of October on the latest cybersecurity technologies.  There were four presentations provided in October 2023 as shown below.

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, from 11 AM – 12 PM EST 

Elastic Solutions presents:

​“​​Is Skynet still Sci-Fi?”​

Come have a chat about Generative AI and how it may have vast implications on enterprise security.

Speaker:  Ruben Perez, Principal Solutions Architect, Elastic

Ruben Perez has been providing solutions for Elastic customers for over 4 years now, much of that time within the Public Sector. With over a decade of search experience prior to Elastic, Ruben has experienced quite a bit of use cases in his career and his knowledge in the space has been an asset to the Elastic SLED organization.​.​

​To view a video of the presentation click the link: Is Skynet still Sci-Fi?

On Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 11 AM – 12 PM EST,​ 

Broadcom presents:​​

“MFA: Why You Mu​st, and Why It’s Not Enough”

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) makes logging in hard...for the bad guys.  So the effort on our part is worth it.  This talk will cover what MFA is, how it works and why it's important.  But bad guys never give up and MFA is not impossible to beat.  We'll show you how they do it, and how you can make it next to impossible for the bad guys.​​

Speaker:  Kevin Haley, Senior Director

Kevin Haley is Senior Director in Symantec's Security Response group where he is responsible for ensuring the security content gathered from Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network is actionable for its customers.  This includes educating customers on security issues and incorporating the security content into security solutions of Broadcom Software.

​To view a video of the presentation click the link: MFA: Why You Must, and Why It’s Not Enough


​On Wednesday, Octobe​r 25, 2023, from 2 PM – 3 PM EST,

COT Office of the Chief Information Security Officer presents:​

“Kentucky State Gov​​ernment Cybersecurity Townhall”

​David Carter and Bob Brooks will describe the state of security of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Executive Branch with a focus on how cybersecurity developments have and will affect the experience of state government staff.

  • David Carter, CISO
  • Bob Brooks, DISO
​To view a video of the presentation click the link: ​Kentucky State Gov​​ernment Cybersecurity Townhall​



Monday, October 30, 2023, from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EST

Palo Alto Networks presents:   

“Protecting our Digital Life: Safeguarding Government Data and Privacy in the Cyber Age”

​In an era where data reigns supreme and the digital landscape continues to evolve, protecting government operations and citizen data is of paramount importance and a shared responsibility.  Join us in this conversation as we delve into the world of cybersecurity and its critical role in government functions.  This engagement aims to raise awareness, educate, and empower state and government employees to become champions of cybersecurity.

Presentation Highlights:

  • Understanding the Cybersecurity Landscape and exploring the evolving threat landscape and the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks.
  • Highlight the real-world implications of cyberattacks on government operations and citizen services.
  • Empower government employees to be proactive in their daily operations by integrating cybersecurity best practices and provide actionable tips and guidelines for enhancing personal and organizational cybersecurity. 
Speaker:  Fadi Fadhil, Palo Alto Networks’ Field Chief Technology Officer

Fadi Fadhil is a seasoned IT executive with a 20+ years track record of digital transformation, business strategy, and partnership building both in government and in education.  He served as the CIO of the City of Minneapolis, the CIO of Minneapolis Public Schools, the Director of Technology in Saint Paul and Lead Technology Architect and Liaison between the US Army and the new Iraqi government in Baghdad, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom II from 2003 – 2005.  With a deep understanding of government and education, Fadi offers a unique combination of strategic vision, field experience with a wealth of knowledge and experience in cybersecurity and IT operations.