Testing and contact tracing have become part of our daily vernacular.

And since the first positive COVID-19 case in North Dakota March 11, Team ND has had a singular focus: protect lives and livelihoods.

This is the story of how people, process and technology came together to transform the state’s efforts to contact testing and tracing – key pieces to the overall equation – through a unified approach built on technology, automation and teamwork.

North Dakota Chief Information Security Officer Kevin Ford announced today that anti-malware software is available to all K-12 schools in North Dakota at no cost. NDIT is able to provide installation, licenses and self-service access for schools due to enhanced capabilities and a unified, statewide approach to cybersecurity strategy. Previously a small fee was required per device; however, that requirement is being removed due to increased threats tied to the pandemic and more widespread virtual learning.

North Dakota Health Information Exchange (HIE) director Shila Blend today announced that the state’s Health Information Network (HIN) has expanded its reach through the Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) initiative. The PCDH effort broadens the health information exchange footprint across the region and nation, providing more seamless exchange of patient-centered data between and among providers.

 North Dakota’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) program, which provides data to support schoolsresearch and evaluation of education and training programs, has added new features on the website. 

These analysis and drill-down capabilities support a data-driven approach to education outcomes, policy and the 21st century workforce pillar of Gov. Burgum’s Main Street Initiative, emphasizing a skilled workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure and healthy, vibrant communities to help the state’s economy continue to recover from economic impacts of COVID-19. 

North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley today announced Jeff Hensel as the Information Technology agency’s first Chief Customer Success Officer (CCSO), a position directly aligned with elevating NDIT’s focus on driving value for customers through a holistic strategy focused on people, process and technology to achieve business needs.

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and EduTech Director Rosi Kloberdanz today announced a Professional Learning Program beginning in June for middle school teachers and July for high school teachers. There is also a program available for elementary teachers.

Gov. Doug Burgum today congratulated the 290 high school women from 21 schools who participated in this year’s Girls Go CyberStart competition sponsored by the SANS Institute. This program is designed to help young women develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills through a series of online cybersecurity challenges.

North Dakota Information Technology, EduTech, Gateway to Science and Microsoft Corp., today announced a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Portal,, designed to help fill the growing need for PPE throughout the state. 

Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley today congratulated ten North Dakota students who received national recognition by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), as well as Valley City State University student Shane Hitch who was a top-five finisher in a Capture the Flag cybersecurity competition hosted by NICERC, the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center. The CTF was held in conjunction with the first-of-its-kind technology focused, multi-industry career expo, Dakota Strike, scheduled for April 8 at the Fargodome, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

hief Information Security Officer Kevin Ford and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler today alerted the public to new cybersecurity threats tied to video conferencing platforms, like Zoom, which are becoming increasingly popular given the global increase in remote work and learning environments.