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Ransomware knocks out Texas courts

The Texas judicial system was forced to take some of its servers and websites offline last week after being targeted by a ransomware attack, officials. said. David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration, which provides IT services to state courts, didn’t specify what kind of ransomware was used to target the judicial servers, but said that the ransomware was “caught” and that no ransom would be paid. But Slayton said the court system's recent efforts to move services for filing, reviewing and sharing court documents to cloud-based platforms meant most of those services remained available during the outage. Ryan Johnston reports.

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As it inches toward allowing businesses like restaurants to re-open amid an ongoing pandemic, Washington state on Monday issued new rules that will require eateries that resume dine-in service to collect data from customers and keep it for at least 30 days. COVID-19 cases have declined enough in eight rural counties that Gov. Jay Inslee is allowing restaurants in those areas to resume table service at 50 percent capacity. But as part of the state's contact-tracing efforts to track new cases of the deadly illness, restaurants will be required to get the names names, phone numbers and email addresses of all sit-down diners and keep that information for 30 days. Washington is trying to build a 1,500-strong tracing workforce, but is still considering a number of new technologies that have prompted privacy concerns. Benjamin Freed reports.

Texas CIO Todd Kimbriel steps down

After 12 years with the Texas state government, statewide Chief Information Officer Todd Kimbriel announced Friday his retirement from public service. He'll now be advising state and local agencies, he told StateScoop, on how to adopt the "CIO as a broker" model he implemented in his state. A day before Kimbriel retired, Texas inked two new four-year contracts for managed cloud and hosted mainframe services valued at $246 million. Texas’ chief technology officer, John Hoffman, will serve as interim CIO while the state searches for a replacement. Colin Wood has more.


Short-term steps for agencies to execute zero-trust strategies

As agency network connections grow more complex – and the number of distributed applications and remote users expands – zero-trust strategies will be critical to keep systems and users secure. IT veteran Jim Richberg discusses an operating principle that is intended to address “the inadequacy of a network perimeter-based approach to cybersecurity” and the ability for intruders to gain “horizontally ‘flat’ access once you are inside the network.” Listen to the conversation.

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