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States to feds: We need tech funding ASAP

A coalition of state and local officials, from governors and chief information officers on down to city and county leaders, sent a message to Congress yesterday: If government IT and cybersecurity is going to continue functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's time to make the money printer go brrr. "COVID-19 has required our workforces, educational systems and general way of life to quickly move remotely, exerting greater pressure on cybersecurity and IT professionals and increasing the risk of vulnerabilities and gaps to state and local networks," reads a letter signed by 12 groups, led by the National Governors Association. The NGA had previously said $500 billion was needed to shore up state and local governments, though Congress has been slow to act, while governors and mayors have had to start slashing their budgets and furloughing workers. Benjamin Freed reports.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Indiana tries to get sheriffs' websites in order

The Indiana Office of Technology on Wednesday announced the launch of a new digital map that makes it easier to find information about all 92 of the state’s county sheriffs. The portal is intended to provide the public a single authoritative source of contact information that was previously scattered across the internet, but it also represents an early step to get more law-enforcement agencies on the dot-gov domain. “[We] researched existing sheriff websites and we found dot-coms, dot-us, dot-gov, Facebook, dot-org,” said Graig Lubsen, a spokesman for the Indiana Office of Technology. Some sheriff’s offices have already taken the state up on its offer to use the state’s dot-gov domain, and now enjoy the same level of security as statewide agencies. Colin Wood has more.

Local governments asked to protect small businesses from cyberthreats

As state government officials plead for more cybersecurity funding in the next federal stimulus package, experts said Wednesday there’s more that local officials can do to aid small businesses securing their finances and protecting their newly remote workers from online threats, which are increasingly preying on fears of the novel coronavirus. “I think the reason we haven’t seen [a massive increase in exploits] yet is because the first stimulus package went through so fast and it got soaked up so quickly that there wasn’t a lot of time for bad guys to exploit,” said Josh Belk, the director of the LA Cyber Lab, a nonprofit organization that helps Los Angeles' small-business community with cybersecurity. “[But] it’s gonna happen. You’re hearing it here.” Ryan Johnston reports.


Showing up strong to deliver services with agility and scale

Government agencies are pushing their IT systems to their limits to meet critical citizen needs during this national crisis. Google Cloud’s Mike Daniels shares ways those at the federal, state and local level are responding with innovative solutions and public-private partnerships to get new tools together quickly. Whether it's shifting quickly to remote work, using data to inform decisions or preparing critical social services programs, leaders are rising to the challenge. Read more from Mike Daniels.

Boulder, Colorado, gets new tech chief

Boulder, Colorado, has found its next chief innovation and technology officer in Jennifer Douglas, who will move from Colorado’s statewide IT office to the local role on June 15. Douglas has been serving has deputy chief customer officer in the Colorado Office of Information Technology, where she helps integrate the needs of individual agencies into the state's overall IT plan. In her new job with Boulder will be tasked with collaborating with other city departments to create a long-term technology strategy and moving more municipal services online so they're available around the clock. Ryan has more.


Six ways to combat ransomware with modern network security

State and local agencies are increasingly targeted by cyberthreat actors taking advantage of vulnerable networks for ransomware attacks. A new Palo Alto Networks report details steps to minimize their cyber risk. By using tools that prevent ransomware threats from occurring, IT leaders can curtail the burden on their IT teams Read more from the experts.

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