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Still waiting on that cyber aid

Three Democratic members of the House Homeland Security Committee, including the panel’s chairman, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi again asking that explicit cybersecurity funding for state and local governments be included in the next round of federal aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the $3 trillion relief package the House passed earlier this month — including nearly $1 trillion for states and localities — is unlikely to be enacted in its current form, none of the money was specifically targeted for state IT or information security. But as the members who wrote the letter noted, state and local governments are struggling to protect overworked unemployment systems from fraud and data exposures, to say nothing of ongoing ransomware attacks. Benjamin Freed reports.

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NYC seeks bids to close its digital divide

As the coronavirus pandemic forces residents to work, learn and receive health care over their home internet connections, New York City is asking internet service providers and other technology companies for ideas to close a digital divide that still leaves millions of residents in nation’s biggest city without high-speed internet. To that end, the office of the city's chief technology officer yesterday invited ISPs and other organizations to submit ideas for pilot projects or technologies that could bring low-cost, high-speed internet service to New York's low-income neighborhoods. The solicitation is part of the $2.1 billion "Internet Master Plan" Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled in January. Ryan Johnston has more.

Contact tracing across state lines?

One of the biggest challenges ahead for states as they build their own contact tracing programs to track the spread of the coronavirus is whether the mobile apps they develop will be compatible with each other, especially in regions where commuters regularly cross state lines, like the New York and Washington metro areas. Maryland Deputy CIO Lance Schine, who's overseeing the development of that state's contact tracing tech said interoperability may arise out of different states using the same technologies and vendors. “If there were mainframes and hard boxes, the sharing would be much more challenging,” he said. “All the CIOs are in agreement our systems need to integrate at some point,” he said. Ben has more.


State and local partnerships boost efforts to combat cyber risks

Collaborative initiatives among state and local governments, aided by industry partners, are increasing agencies’ ability to combat cyberthreats. The growing level of cooperation reflects, in part, a shared need to overcome continuing shortages in technology workers — and cybersecurity expertise in particular. With the increase in automation and solution capabilities, agencies’ ability do more with existing resources will become increasingly important, says Tenable’s Allan Wong. Listen to the full discussion.

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