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Poll finds ransomware is a top concern for government workers.

More state and local government employees are aware of ransomware’s threats than ever before, but training to guard against it — as well as funding to respond to cyberattacks — remains unchanged, according to a poll of government workers published Thursday by IBM Security. In total, 73 percent of 690 public-sector workers polled said they were concerned about ransomware threats to their organizations. While that level of awareness is a positive trend, according to IBM Security Vice President Wendi Whitmore, the precautionary measures governments take haven't kept up, with just 38 percent of respondents said they received ransomware prevention training. And cybersecurity funding has remained flat, with 52 percent of IT workers polled saying budgets for managing cyber incidents had remained stagnant. Benjamin Freed has more on the IBM poll.

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Illinois brings on deputy CIO

Jennifer Ricker, formerly the chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology, was promoted earlier this month to the position of statewide deputy chief information officer. Working alongside CIO Ron Guerrier and Brad Long, who became DoIT’s chief enterprise architect last April, Ricker told StateScoop she’ll be following an agenda that Guerrier has called “getting back to basics," including filling out 300 vacant positions at an agency designed to employ more than 1,500 people. Colin Wood reports.

Another New York City tech agency?

Two members of the New York City Council on Wednesday introduced a bill that would create a “moonshot” division to aid city agencies in modernizing their digital services. The “Office of Technology and Digital Services” would hire technologists who would embed themselves in other city departments needing help with their digital projects. One of the bill's sponsors, Ben Kallos, said this new agency would be modeled after the federal government's 18F and U.S. Digital Service, which assist other nationwide agencies with their digital projects, by placing a "tech officer" in every city agency by 2025. Kallos told StateScoop that would then free up the city's CIO and chief technology officer to tackle projects that address issues like hunger and poverty. Ryan Johnston reports.

Mental health, housing rights targeted in latest NYC tech competitions

New York City unveiled two new competitions on Wednesday, announcing it will accept applications from civic technology companies to design tools that can improve mental health outreach and awareness of housing policies and tenants' rights. The winners of each competition will pilot their technologies for a year with city agencies in two Upper Manhattan neighborhoods beginning this fall, and receive up to $20,000 for product development.   Ryan has more.

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