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Michael Leahy shares his secret weapon

Inside state governments, and during the pandemic especially, there’s a tendency for agencies that urgently need technical solutions to approach the central IT department with a predetermined idea of how their particular problems should be solved. But over the past 18 months, Maryland Technology Secretary Michael Leahy told StateScoop, he’s implemented a new policy on these interagency interactions that is leading to more-effective solutions, lower project costs and happier customers. “I know we all grew up learning the lesson that we shouldn’t bring people a problem unless we have a solution, but I want to break that down,” he said. Colin Wood has the story.

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Ohio's election-security program shows maturity

A pair of cybersecurity experts on Thursday praised Ohio’s new vulnerability disclosure policy for its election-related websites as being a mark of a mature organization. Speaking during a weekly briefing led by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who announced the policy earlier this month, Matt Olney, a director at Talos, Cisco’s threat intelligence division, and Matt Masterson, a senior adviser to the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said the new initiative shows how far along some state governments have come in protecting their election infrastructure. “We wanted to unleash the great minds that are out there to tell us where we’ve left a hole in our fence,” LaRose said. Benjamin Freed reports.

University of Utah pays off ransomware attack

The University of Utah acknowledged yesterday that it paid hackers about $457,000 last month to stop the publication of sensitive data that was stolen in a ransomware attack. While the school said the attack only affected a small percentage of data belonging to its College of Social and Behavioral Science — and that the damaged systems were restored from backups — administrators, in consultation with Utah's cyber insurance carrier, decided to pay after the hackers demonstrated that they had in fact stolen proprietary data and would publish it if their demands were not satisfied. Read more on EdScoop.

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