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Cyber threats in K-12 are 'here to stay'

Improving the basic cybersecurity postures of K-12 school districts doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking, even as costly ransomware incidents targeting the sector slogs on, speakers during an online event yesterday hosted by CISA. “There’s a misconception we need a lot of money to do anything,” said Doug Levin, executive director of the K12 Security Information Exchange, a nonprofit group that tracks cyber incidents affecting schools. Levin said school IT administrators can turn on security features included in the software they’ve already purchased, install patches and updates regularly and delete or archive old data that’s no longer needed, reducing odds it can be stolen by malicious actors and published online. Benjamin Freed reports.

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How to talk to the electeds about cyber

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. Ben was there.

Shawn Riley looks to clean energy and crypto in post-CIO life

On the Priorities podcast this week, North Dakota CIO Shawn Riley explains his decision to leave state government next month for a role with Bitzero International, a cryptocurrency-mining and energy-development company. “I left the normal private sector to go to the health care private sector because I wanted to make the world better for people,” Riley said. “I left health care to go to government, because they made this opportunity to make the world better for people. And I’m leaving government to go back to the private sector again because of the same thing.” Listen to the podcast.

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