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Too close for contact

About 72,000 Pennsylvanians may have had their personal information compromised by a contact-tracing vendor working with the state’s health department, the agency acknowledged last week. Employees at Insight Global, a staffing agency the state hired last year to hire and train nearly 1,000 contact tracers, “disregarded security protocols established in the contract and created unauthorized documents” including Pennsylvanians' phone numbers, emails, genders, ages, sexual orientations, COVID-19 diagnoses and exposure statuses. The state, which has paid Insight Global nearly $30 million, plans to find a new contact-tracing vendor when the company's contract expires in July. Ryan Johnston has more.

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Buy it for the cyber

A new NASCIO publication urges state officials to be more mindful of the security of third-party vendors’ IT products when making acquisitions. The guide suggests that state agencies far too often make technology purchases without running them by security officials who might have insights about which products are more trustworthy until the ink is already drying on contracts. “We are consulted at the end, after the agency has already chosen the product, negotiated everything to be negotiated and now we are ‘holding up’ the process by attempting to ensure that security is included,” one state CISO is quoted as saying. Benjamin Freed reports.

Iowa launches broadband grant program

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill last week establishing a broadband grant program to expand rural access to broadband, one of the priorities she addressed in a state of the state address earlier this year. The new law, signed Wednesday, will enable internet service providers to apply for grant funding to be put toward installing broadband equipment in areas of the state that are the least connected, with some grants reimbursing up to 75% of project costs. Iowa currently has the second-slowest average broadband speed in the country, and ranks 45th among states in overall connectivity. Ryan has details.


How agencies can mitigate cyber risks from unmanaged devices

Agencies loosened “bring-your-own-device” policies last year to meet demands of a surge in remote work access needs. However, now leaders need to be concerned with the number of unsecured devices now connecting to government resources. To stay ahead of threats, organizations can integrate dynamic policies to establish flexible security and access controls, say security leaders. Read more in the StateScoop report.

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