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A big step up for N.C.'s cyber task force

Rob Main, North Carolina’s chief risk officer, told StateScoop yesterday that a recent executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper last week giving formal recognition to a statewide task force will greatly expand its ability to defend against digital threats and shorten recovery times when an incident occurs. “Having the formal recognition is extremely valuable to the task force as there are opportunities to broaden awareness of what capabilities it brings to bear,” he said. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Ransomware demands and payouts are going up

Large and highly organized cybercrime groups like Conti are helping to drive up the overall cost of ransomware attacks, according to the latest annual analysis of the cybercrime method by Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42. “The average ransom demand in cases worked by Unit 42 incident responders rose 144% in 2021 to $2.2 million, while the average payment climbed 78% to $541,010,” according to the company. Joe Warminsky has more on CyberScoop.

ICYMI: Washington's going to need a new CISO

Washington State CISO Vinod Brahmapuram plans to leave state government for a private-sector role at the end of the month, he told StateScoop this week. While much of his tenure overlapped with the pandemic, he said it presented opportunities to accelerate long-desired goals to upgrade technologies and revise processes. “There are things I identified way before the pandemic that had to be done in Washington,” he said. “We accelerated because the needs changed.” Ben had the story.

Post-COVID, government leaders strive for resilience, inclusion, connectivity

A new Deloitte survey drawing on interviews from 23 nations shows that many government leaders have shifted to long-term planning. The report's author, Bill Eggers, told StateScoop that the annual survey found that while one of the pandemic’s main story lines was the accelerated adoption of certain technologies, like cloud-based services, leaders are now looking to the future. Colin Wood has more.

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