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Centralized Jersey exists

During a session yesterday in NASCIO's online conference, New Jersey CISO Michael Geraghty extolled the benefits of his state's centralized approach toward cybersecurity. Since 2016, Geraghty has led the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell, a fusion center that operates out of the state's homeland security division, rather than the main IT agency. “It’s not just IT we’re trying to protect,” he said. “It’s everything that’s critical infrastructure.” Geraghty spoke the same day NASCIO released its <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/pandemic-cybersecurity-nascio-2020-deloitte-report/">biennial cybersecurity report</a>, which found that CISOs would prefer that their states centralized their missions. Benjamin Freed reports.

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How Indiana's data-privacy policies prepared the state for COVID-19

Data-privacy is a widespread concern in government, but many states have yet to formalize the practice. In another NASCIO session yesterday, Indiana Chief Privacy Officer Ted Cotterill encouraged other states to consider adopting his state’s privacy model, which he said was invaluable to policymakers this year as they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, every data-sharing effort needed its own agreement, which Cotterill said slowed the pace at which agencies could exchange data. Now, Cotterill's office keeps a single data-sharing agreement on file for each agency that can be recycled for new projects.   Colin Wood has details.

How do cities pay for new technology? Not always with money.

City innovation offices largely exist to help agencies adopt emerging technologies, and there are several ways to go about paying for new gadgets and services — including asking for them for free — according to a panel of chief innovation officers speaking at the Texas Smart Cities Summit on Wednesday. Supporting technology pilots is one of the most important aspects of an innovation officer’s role, said Jesse Bounds, Houston’s innovation director, but the money to test out a new suite of data-collecting sensors or internet-connected kiosks doesn’t always have to come from the city’s coffers. Ryan Johnston has more.

Election security goes to court

Legal battles with election security implications raged across the country over the holiday weekend, even with early voting well underway at historic levels in many states. In recent days, judges have issued rulings on touchscreen voting machines in Georgia, signature matching on mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and ballot drop boxes in Texas. And in California, officials are trying to stop the state Republican Party from placing unauthorized drop boxes around several counties. Tim Starks reports for CyberScoop.


Closing the expertise gaps in state and local security

If there is one underlying challenge facing most state and local government IT departments, it’s “complexity.” And that complexity has become deeply rooted, says Verizon’s security adviser, Chris Novak. That’s one of the key reasons why state and local governments need to shift strategic gears and expand their use of managed and professional IT services, especially for security. Read more from Chris Novak.

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