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Colorado's Debbi Blyth heads for the exit

Deborah Blyth, who’s been Colorado’s CISO since 2014, will leave state government next month to join the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike as a strategist advising state and local governments, she told StateScoop yesterday. “Before I started I didn’t know anything about state government,” she said. “Even during COVID, it was very interesting to see to what degree our state offices are so involved in keeping the public healthy and safe and keeping services running.” Blyth became a leader among state CISOs in 2018, when she helped lead a response to a ransomware incident that became a template for state and local governments dealing with cyberattacks. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Kaseya gets the key

Roughly three weeks after Russia-based ransomware group REvil attacked Kaseya, the Florida-based IT firm has obtained a working decryption key to unlock encrypted files belonging to hundreds of victims, a spokesperson confirmed to CyberScoop. The key came from a "trusted third party," though the company has specified little else about the source. Kaseya has estimated the number of affected organizations at somewhere between 800 and 1,500, including schools in New Zealand, a Swedish grocery store chain and two Maryland towns. Tonya Riley has the latest.

Seattle CTO Saad Bashir stepped down

Seattle has appointed Jim Loter as its interim CTO following the departure of Saad Bashir earlier this month, city officials confirmed Thursday. A reason for Bashir's departure was not given. As CTO, Bashir helped secure Seattle’s internal communications and workflows as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with his agency developing an internal chatbot to answer basic IT questions and buying VPN licenses to enable employees’ remote access. Ryan Johnston has more.

Today in cyber metaphors

A day after a group of IT officials compared cybersecurity to a Las Vegas buffet, Illinois Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford compared the role of security in government modernization to HVAC maintenance. Upgrading technology and retiring legacy systems, Ford said during a CrowdStrike event, is like “replacing the air conditioner before it goes out.” “There comes a day when the air conditioning stops working and the 100-degree heat of July comes, and that’s the day I regret not having been proactive,” he said. Ben has the story.

Cook County, Illinois, moves out of 'stone age' with tax software

Cook County, Illinois, last week went live with a new tax processing system that officials in the second-most populous U.S. county said would take it out of the “stone age” of tax administration. The county, which includes Chicago, is now using Revenue Solutions Inc., a tax and compliance software company from Massachusetts, to process collections of local taxes on a range of products, including tobacco, motor vehicle sales, gambling machines and firearms. The software replaced a paper-and-snail-mail system of tax collections, with county officials saying the change will save millions of dollars. Ryan has details.

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