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Not leaving maps behind

Cy Smith, who’s spent the last 21 years as Oregon’s lead geographic information systems official, said Wednesday he plans to leave state government later this year as he begins two new roles, including one as the a new policy director for the National States Geographic Information Council. "We’re still not quite completely done, but we got a lot done," he told StateScoop. Among Smith's accomplishments was the 2018 passage of the Geospatial Data Act, which expanded the federal government's use of the technology. Colin Wood reports.

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New year, more threats

The number of cybersecurity incidents aimed at K-12 school systems could jump by 86% in the coming academic year, the nonprofit Center for Internet Security said yesterday. The organization, which operates the MS-ISAC, expects that increase based on a rising trend of alerts it’s been getting from its members in the academic sector. “We continue to see schools be a target of cybercriminals,” said Josh Moulin, CIS’s senior vice president and deputy director of operations and security services. “One reason that is is schools have been a target for criminals to go after and get their ransoms paid.” Benjamin Freed reports for EdScoop.

New CISA chief hits Black Hat

In one of her first public appearances as the new director of CISA, Jen Easterly said in a remote address to the Black Hat security conference that the agency is launching a cyber defense center that will seek to foster collaboration before cyberattacks, rather than afterward, between federal agencies, the private sector and state and local governments. The new the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative — or JCDC, complete with a logo that may resemble a certain hard-rock band's — will aim to enhance the teamwork that often happens only after a major incident. “While some of this work is happening in pockets, most of it is reactive," she said. Tim Starks has more on CyberScoop.

Colorado's new smart-city partnership

Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver this week formalized a partnership with the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, a statewide group of businesses, higher education institutions and state and local government agencies, to continue studying how technology can improve transportation, energy consumption and the environment. The partnership will enable Alliance members — cities like Denver and Fort Collins, as well as dozens of technology companies — to understand internet-connected technologies and software applications “with an informed, neutral, academic perspective that government and business cannot bring on their own,” according to a press release. Ryan Johnston has details.

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