The Flagstaff (Arizona) United School District has become the latest victim in a run of ransomware attacks targeting state and local government organizations across the U.S.

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., introduced the State and Local Government Cybersecurity Improvement Act on Aug. 30 to help state and local governments combat cyberattacks. The legislation comes in the wake of increasing ransomware attacks targeting state and local governments, including Katko’s own state.






In response to recent cyberattacks against local governments in Texas and Louisiana, U.S. National Guard cyber response teams have been called in to help get the governments back online.






About two-thirds of 2019 ransomware attacks in America have targeted state and local governments, according to an Aug. 28 report published by Barracuda Networks, a cybersecurity group.






The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) today announced 30 finalists for its State IT Recognition Awards.






The National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) announced its new leadership team for 2020 on Aug. 22, immediately following its Annual Conference and Technology Showcase.






texas

The Commonwealth of Texas has earned the dubious honor of being the latest state or local government hit by a successful ransomware attack. The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) confirmed on Aug. 16 that at least 23 local government entities were hit by a “coordinated” ransomware attack. DIR said it will lead the cybersecurity response to the attack.






Despite a downtick in number of states using paperless voting equipment since 2016, eight states are still expected to use paperless machines in the 2020 election, according to an Aug. 13 Brennan Center for Justice report.






The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) announced the appointment of new NASS committee co-chairs Aug. 6.






Cybersecurity

The state and local government sector is seeing strong growth in the adoption of DMARC email authentication, but still lags far behind the Federal government and has much room to improve, according to a recent report from Valimail.






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