As the new year gets underway, MeriTalk is looking back to some of the top innovators in Federal, state, and local cybersecurity. At the Symantec Government Symposium, MeriTalk’s founder Steve O’Keeffe sat down with the 2017 Cyber Award winners to discuss their success, and what they learned as they worked to stay ahead of cyber threats.  

For the first time a majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Increased urbanization brings new demands for technology to make city life more pleasant, healthy, and efficient. New low-cost sensors and advanced data analytics, among other technologies, have given rise to smart cities across the United States. However, many cities are struggling with how to best select, deploy, and maintain smart city technologies. In its recent report, the Center for Data Innovation (CDI) said that national governments have an important role to play in accelerating and coordinating smart city development.






The innovations of the Internet of Things can only improve health care in rural America once there is complete broadband access and adoption. “The benefits of telehealth are not available to patients without access to high-speed Internet across America. As technology and health care services expand to meet patients where they live, broadband coverage must improve to make this care accessible,” Michael Adcock, executive director of the Telehealth Center University of Mississippi Medical Center, told the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.






While states are still in the process of deciding whether they are opting in or opting out of FirstNet, AT&T and FirstNet are moving ahead with public safety and innovation. The two organizations have launched an application developer program focused on first responders. 






NIC this month launched the first digital personal government assistant, Gov2Go, at the annual NASCIO conference. Gov2Go, which is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure public cloud, centralizes services citizens need at the local, state, and Federal level. While the platform was already in use in a few states, the recent launch marks the nationwide rollout.






With school starting up, the Mississippi Community College Board needed to tackle a system that was slowing down the class registration process. At the start of the school year, MCCB announced that it had adopted a FlashStack solution, a joint offering from Cisco Systems and Pure Storage, to host its most critical enrollment applications. With the new FlaskStack solution, the IT team now has access to the latest in computing and networking, combined into a single, integrated architecture.






Seattle hosted its “City for All” hackathon, which gathered data scientists, designers and urban planners, and software developers to search for solutions for challenges connected to aging and accessibility within the city. The hackathon was hosted in partnership with the Age-Friendly Seattle initiative, part of Seattle’s commitment to residents of all ages, including senior citizens who wish to age in place.






Magnet Forensics is used by law enforcement–typically forensics labs–to recover digital footprints from smartphones, computers, and tablets. The company has launched Magnet AXIOM Cloud for recovering and examining digital evidence from cloud services and social networks; and Magnet AXIOM 1.2 with Connections–a new feature that simplifies the discovery and visualization of relationships between files and artifacts and their activity.






San Diego County partnered with Esri to release the Know Your Hazards interactive mapping tool that gives citizens real-time data on the likelihood that natural disasters could affect their homes.






In an effort to improve efficiency and lower barriers to entry, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently launched the nation’s first paperless pardon process. Individuals seeking clemency can now use an online portal to fill out the necessary forms.






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