Cybersecurity

See something, say something: Ethical hackers strengthen cyber resilience

Cities and states are increasingly adopting vulnerability disclosure policies that encourage “white hat” or ethical cybersecurity researchers to identify and report security weaknesses in government websites and systems.

Shining a light on shadow AI

Employees sometimes use artificial intelligence websites like ChatGPT to get more work done. But if they do so without approval, they may be putting their agency at risk.

Feds unveil resource for election officials and workers

The webpage provides free resources for state and local officials as they grapple with fears of possible foreign interference in elections and physical threats linked to conspiracy theories.

Who should be in charge of protecting our water systems from cyber threats?

Federal officials don’t agree. Recent hacks on water systems exposed their vulnerabilities. But while some want the EPA to play a stronger role, others emphasized that local systems are best suited to defend themselves.

States slowly embrace ‘whole-of-state’ cybersecurity approach

Federal grants helped spur adoption of the strategies across the country, but hurdles remain as more look to follow suit.

More details emerge on FCC’s cyber program for schools, libraries

Applicants for the $200 million pilot could be required to detail recent attacks and their current cybersecurity posture. The agency is also seeking guidance on how to measure success.

Why federal efforts to protect schools from cybersecurity threats fall short

K-12 schools are especially vulnerable to cyberattack because they lack the cybersecurity expertise and funding essential to protecting students' sensitive information.

Two recent cyberattacks on water systems highlight vulnerability of critical infrastructure

Pro-Iran hackers allegedly hit a system near Pittsburgh, causing it to replace its Israeli-made equipment as a precaution. Meanwhile, another group hit a system in North Texas and caused operational issues.

How to use generative AI to improve operations while protecting sensitive data

COMMENTARY | Large language models like ChatGPT offer state and local agencies exciting new capabilities, but they also introduce new security risks.

Funding for local cybersecurity efforts is insufficient, survey says

Local government IT executives are reluctant to even ask elected officials for more, according to the group behind the survey, knowing requests will likely be rejected.

These federal grants could help shore up your cyberdefences

A report from the Government Accountability Office identified 27 grants not “intended to primarily support cybersecurity activities” that state and local governments could tap for critical funding—if they have grant writing expertise.

FCC wants to improve cyber protections for schools, libraries

Faced with a growing number of cyberattacks on school districts nationwide, the agency announced a three-year pilot program to gather data on the best cyberdefenses.

Misinformation, cybersecurity among top issues ahead of 2024 elections

State and local officials face a new threat from the proliferation of deepfakes and misinformation, driven by artificial intelligence.

Election security threats require more federal resources, officials say

Facing growing cyber and physical threats, state and local election administrators told U.S. senators that more federal assistance is needed to safeguard voting systems and personnel.

As TikTok and other Chinese technologies are deemed dangerous, what should state and local governments do?

COMMENTARY | Finding and replacing Chinese-made equipment in state and local government networks will be challenging and expensive. But the threat is genuine and must not be ignored.

‘No middle ground’: State, local collaboration essential to cyber defense

New York’s whole-of-state approach to cybersecurity promotes cooperating with local governments to face down threats and build a skilled workforce pipeline.

EPA withdraws cyber audit requirement for water systems

The agency asserted that it still “remains committed” to helping states protect their water systems, despite legal challenges to its formal mandate.

A potential federal shutdown is yet another thing for election officials to worry about

Chaos in Congress could leave local election officials without the resources they need for 2024.

Feds plan new 'secure-by-design' guidance

The nation’s cyber defense agency is continuing to drive a major effort to shift security responsibilities from users to software providers.

As cyberattacks grow, cyber insurance is increasingly out of reach for many municipalities

Experts caution that governments need to recalibrate their cyber risk management approaches by emphasizing employee training and taking a whole-of-state approach.