The United States needs to invest more resources in the security of election systems, Cook County (Ill.) Director of Elections Noah Praetz told the Election Assistance Commission.

Baltimore’s new Cyber Range is hoping to tackle the 200,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in this country with cutting-edge, hands-on training. Earlier this month, Baltimore Cyber Range and Cyberbit, a provider of cybersecurity training and simulation platforms, opened the Baltimore Cyber Range cybersecurity training and simulation center.






The designation of the nation’s election systems as critical infrastructure will not infringe upon state and local authority to run elections. In a recent memo to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Members, Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., relayed communications from the Department of Homeland Security that reiterated that fact.






Data is key for Indiana CIO Dewand Neely. His team is focused on helping the Indiana state government incorporate data into its decision-making. From helping to establish a metrics-driven agency to focusing on citizen feedback to determine projects, Neely believes data can help the government make better decisions across the board.






Many states and localities don’t have the resources to upgrade and protect their election systems from malicious cyber intrusion, and the Federal government should work to provide them with those resources, according to a recent Brennan Center report on election cybersecurity.






The Investigator General of the Department of Homeland Security investigated a claim that the agency hacked into the state of Georgia’s voter registration database and found that the access consisted of “normal and automatic message exchanges” from Microsoft applications.






This weekend, state and local websites displayed a pro-ISIS message due to a hack that is being claimed by a group called Team System DZ. The hacked sites of Howard County, Md., Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and other local governments temporarily read: “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries”; and “I love Islamic State.”






Mike Steinmetz took office April 17 as Rhode Island’s first cybersecurity officer. Although he has been in this new position for only two months, Steinmetz has developed a network of state officials, academics, and industry experts. He stressed the importance of partners within the private sector and academia.






Money is the single biggest barrier to local governments achieving the highest levels of cybersecurity. From not being able to pay competitive salaries to an insufficient number of cybersecurity staff, local governments are unable to deliver cybersecurity protection because their budgets don’t match their tasks.






Danielle Alvarez has served as Florida’s CISO for more than two years, but on June 1, 2017, she will serve her last day in the Agency for State Technology. Before stepping down, Alvarez spoke with 21st Century State & Local about her work within the state and her hopes for her replacement.






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