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Can we speak with the manager, please?

Local governments are making gradual strides in implementing tools like antivirus software and scheduling routine cyber hygiene training for employees, but a new paper argues that a main reason cities and counties remain so vulnerable to threats like ransomware is that elected leaders and other top managers don't take active roles in creating strong cybersecurity policies. "Without these officials’ understanding and support, it is also hard to imagine that local governments will be able to do a better job of achieving high levels of cybersecurity," reads the article, which is based on the first-ever nationwide survey of local-government IT security, and is scheduled to be published by the Journal of Urban Affairs. Benjamin Freed has more.

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A SOC for all

North Dakota may be the fourth-smallest state by population, but that stature isn't stopping the state's chief information officer, Shawn Riley, from setting up a security operations center open to all state governments, especially those that are called upon to help out local governments impacted by ransomware and other threats. The North Dakota Information Technology Department is developing a suite of tools and practices that can be used across state boundaries to build a unified defense against cyberattacks. Colin Wood reports.

Freewheeling facial-recognition use in Utah spurs new bill

Lawmakers in Utah next month will consider a bill aimed at curtailing how freely state authorities feed images of driver's licenses into facial-recognition databases used by federal law enforcement agencies. The legislation comes after a Georgetown University report that found that the Utah Department of Public Safety granted hundreds of requests to agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI to use use facial recognition technology to search state databases without obtaining warrants or notifying residents that their images were available to be scanned by the federal government. Ryan Johnston has more.

Workforce committee pushes new training, recruitment strategies in Tennessee

State CIO Stephanie Dedmon says officials governmentwide are rethinking how they prepare workers for emerging technical jobs. Watch the interview.

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