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No longer just an IT role

Tim Roemer, Arizona’s CISO since August 2019, added a new title this week when Gov. Doug Ducey named him to lead the state's Department of Homeland Security. The dual roles mean that cybersecurity governance will be moved from the Arizona Department of Administration — where it shared real estate with the state IT office — to the homeland security agency, an evolution Roemer said makes sense as cybersecurity encompasses far more than just tech issues. "I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes more common because of everything our state and our country is faced with," Roemer told StateScoop. Previously, though, only New Jersey had put cybersecurity under the aegis of homeland security. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Data has played a “paramount” role in enabling public officials to issue effective public health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, Drew Erdmann, Missouri’s chief operating officer, said yesterday, but the journey to foster data-driven decision making in state government wasn’t easy. Speaking at a conference hosted by analytics company Tableau, said the state was hamstrung by officials who neglected to share data early in the crisis. "When people talk about ‘they own their data, they own their data,' the language there sets up barriers, as opposed to ‘I’m a steward of this.'," he said. Ryan Johnston has details.

Cybersecurity grants, take two

Rep. Yvette Clarke, the chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity panel said yesterday she will soon reintroduce legislation that would create a robust annual grant program supporting state and local governments. Speaking during an online event hosted by the Cybersecurity Coalition, Clarke said she plans to bring up a new version of the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which passed the House last year with large bipartisan support but did not get a vote in the Senate. The new version, she said, will offer $500 million in grants, an increase from the $400 million lawmakers considered last year. Ben has more.

Vermont is modernizing its IT with ‘capability tiers’

Vermont Chief Technology Officer Mark Combs said yesterday that the state’s current efforts to modernize its legacy technology platforms are designed around an idea he called “capability tiers.” Over the past four years, state IT workers have consolidated an inventory of about 1,400 major business applications, he said during a VMware event. “We’ve been on a journey the last four years of really picking the future and opportunistically moving everybody toward that future,” Combs said.   Colin Wood reports.

Absolute monsters

Wine-themed domain registrations rose once COVID-19 lockdowns took hold, some of them malicious and used in phishing campaigns, Recorded Future and Area 1 Security said in a report published Wednesday, CyberScoop's Tim Starks reports. The researchers found the scams picked up as the pandemic fueled an increase in "virtual happy hours" and more wine consumption in general. “Scammers and attackers always jump on the latest trends, so part of this is just natural progression: they see increased interest in wine and they want to take advantage of the situation,” said Allan Liska, a Recorded Future analyst and oenophile who called the grape-stained scams "a personal attack against me, one that must be stopped at all costs.” Best read with a bold Cabernet.

Oregon lawmakers want to improve human trafficking reporting

The Oregon Senate on Monday passed two bills that would create new requirements for workers in key industries to report suspected human trafficking, adding to a list that already includes computer technicians and IT professionals. State Sen. Tim Knopp, a Republican who co-sponsored the legislation, said he believes technology will play a key role in how law enforcement catches human traffickers as part of an ongoing tactics race with those criminals. Colin has more.

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