The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA),the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), the National Governors Association (NGA), and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released new recommendations to help state, local, and tribal governments safeguard against ransomware, and urged governments to take “immediate action” to prevent attacks.

FirstNet

The Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) took the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to task in a July 22 report that finds “control weaknesses” in FirstNet’s handling of a $336 million payment it made to its contractor AT&T.






Denver

The City and County of Denver, Colorado improved vendor risk assessments and cut evaluation time by more than three times using a digital workflow. Julie Sutton, Denver’s Information Security Manager, shared their success and insights at ServiceNow’s Knowledge 2019 conference.






The governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, issued an emergency declaration on July 24 in response to a series of cybersecurity breaches at local school districts. The emergency declaration enables the state government to share more resources to counter the breach.






New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on July 25 that amends state data breach law by imposing more expansive data security and data breach notification requirements on companies.






The Syracuse City School District (SCSD) and Onondaga County Libraries, both in New York, were hit with a Ryuk ransomware earlier this month.






elections voting vote

The Senate on July 8 unanimously approved the Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act, which was sponsored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.






Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, has eliminated the Cybersecurity Officer position from her cabinet. Unlike most states, which are pouring additional funding into cybersecurity, Raimondo has cut all funding from the Cybersecurity Officer’s role, which was held by Mike Steinmetz since the position was created in 2017.  The Cybersecurity Officer functions will be distributed among other state agencies, according to a published report.






The National Governors Association (NGA) published a report examining state cyber disruption response plans, and providing recommendations for state officials who want to create or review their own response plans.






A team of academics and experts published a July 10 blueprint that acts as a template to help communities become “smart cities” by adopting a secure hybrid cloud architecture.






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