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Did someone say "free .gov"?

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said yesterday it will drop all registration fees for the .gov top-level domain through the end of the current fiscal year. Wit the waiver, state and local governments will not have to pay the $400 the federal government typically charges for a .gov domain, which had long been considered a roadblock for small organizations. "Having no fee will aid governments, especially local governments, in taking the next step to make sure their websites are more secure," said Meredith Ward, policy director at NASCIO, which has pushed for changes to make the .gov program less expensive. Benjamin Freed reports.

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2 factor 2 furious

Nevada lawmakers last week approved a $2 million upgrade to the state’s cybersecurity that will install multi-factor authentication on the state’s existing IT systems. The state will implement the practice — which requires users to enter both a password and at least one additional form of authentication, often a code received by email or text — across all agencies. The project is necessary, officials said, because Nevada’s enterprise IT agency last year processed 65 tickets for compromised accounts and estimated that more than 80% of those tickets were because of weak or stolen passwords. Ryan Johnston has details.

Delaware technology bureau names new COO

The Delaware Department of Technology and Information on Tuesday named Gerald “Jerry” Whisman as its new chief operating officer. Whisman, who most recently served as DTI’s director of infrastructure and engineering, will be responsible for administering an IT portfolio that includes the state’s network operations center, output management, systems administration and engineering, mainframes, telecommunications, collaboration services, automation and data center functions. “It’s all about people, process and tools,” he said in an interview. Colin Wood has more.

California officials defend $50M vaccine website

California officials on Monday responded to recent criticism of the state’s $50 million COVID-19 vaccination website, saying that over the past three months, it’s become one of the most efficient state-run vaccine platforms in the country. The site, MyTurn, has been accused of being incongruous with the scheduling systems used by county vaccination programs and retail pharmacies, but the California Department of Technology said no incompatibilities exist. “There was a bump or two along the way as we ramped up quickly," the department said of the site, which books about one-quarter of the 388,000 shots being given in California daily. Ben has more.

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