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Presenting the 2020 LocalSmart winners

StateScoop today announced the winners of the second annual LocalSmart Awards, a program created to highlight the inspirational people and projects making city, county and municipal governments more efficient and effective. The LocalSmart Awards honor the individuals and projects that transform local government and make a difference in residents’ lives. Forty winners were chosen in categories for city and county leadership, IT leadership, cybersecurity and innovative projects. See all the winners.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

2020, at it again

Despite hopes that ransomware would buck a trend and become less pervasive, 2020 has offered no relief to IT organizations, particularly state and local governments trying to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic, speakers said Tuesday during a cybersecurity conference. "Somehow, it managed to get worse," Charles Carmakal, the chief technology officer at Mandiant, the incident response arm of the cybersecurity firm FireEye, said in a conversation during the Aspen Institute's Cyber Summit. But some states, like North Carolina, are putting more resources into how they help local governments recover. Benjamin Freed reports.

'It has to stop'

Conspiracy theories about voting equipment, many of them fanned by President Trump and his surrogates, have resulted in election officials being harassed and threatened. Yesterday, Gabriel Sterling, the voting systems implementation manager for Georgia (where Trump lost), pleaded with the president to tell his supporters to stop and accept the election results after a technician working for the state's voting equipment vendor received death threats motivated by far-right social media. "It has to stop," Sterling said. "This is the backbone of democracy. And all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this.” Read more and watch Sterling's remarks.

Broadband advocates look to the post-Pai FCC

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s announcement Monday that he intends to resign Jan. 20 presents the incoming Biden administration with an opportunity to restore net neutrality and overhaul the federal government’s attitude toward municipal broadband, Tyler Cooper, the editor of Broadbandnow.com, told StateScoop. One move that a Biden-era FCC could make to instantly address the digital divide, Cooper said, is to take federal action on allowing municipalities to invest in their own broadband networks or co-ops. Ryan Johnston reports.


Expanding digital services requires modern IAM for citizens

As state and local agencies expand digital services, CIOs need to meet citizen expectations to access those services from any mobile device. It has become critical to invest in modern identity and access management solutions, says ForgeRock’s Tommy Cathey. He discusses modernization frameworks that align privacy and authentication strategies across services and improve fraud detection and identity verification in a recent interview. Hear more from Tommy Cathey.

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