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'Tech is our field, not their field'

While many state and local elected officials like to talk big on cybersecurity, or frame it as a problem to be "solved,' getting them to focus on the issue in the proper context requires a careful approach, a group of state and local CIOs said at last week's Michigan Cyber Summit. For starters: They don't talk (too much) about technology. “I have an open door with the county executive,” said Wayne County CIO Hector Roman. “It’s not on technical terms. They don’t care what’s shiny or new, it’s about what you can do to keep the county protected." Michigan CIO Laura Clark sounded a similar note. “Tech is our field, not their field," she said about her conversations with people in the governor's office. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Last year's ransomware price tag: $1.2B

U.S. financial institutions observed nearly $1.2 billion in costs associated with ransomware attacks in 2021, a nearly 200 percent increase over the previous year, according to data reported by banks to the U.S. Treasury Department and released in a report yesterday. The figures were released as the White House closed out an international summit on the global cybercrime threat. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said at the summit that an international approach to countering ransomware is needed. CyberScoop's AJ Vicens has the story.

Automated decisions abound in D.C.

Researchers at the Electronic Privacy Information Center yesterday published a report on how city agencies in the District of Columbia are using automated decision-making systems to drive their programs. Of 20 agencies looked at, including the Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Department of Health, EPIC found 29 such systems at work. Over 14 months of research, EPIC found there are "increasingly few decisions about D.C. public services that are not at least partially automated." See the whole report.

The allure of government work

The workforce concerns that CIOs and CISOs expressed in two recent surveys were on full display at last week's Michigan Cyber Summit, where a group of state and local IT leaders discussed steps they're taking to retain workers and recruit new, younger talent. One consistent theme: The allure — if not always lucrative — of public service. “We do cutting edge technologies and have a lot of opportunities," Michigan CIO Laura Clark said. "There are few positions where you actually impact 10 million residents.” Ben has more.

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