Bill would create cybersecurity grant program for state and local governments

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Cory Gardner introduced legislation Monday that would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to give state and local governments grants to purchase additional cybersecurity resources and hire more information-security personnel. Under the State Cyber Resiliency Act, state, local and tribal governments would be invited to put together plans to improve their overall defenses around their computer networks, communications systems and industrial control systems, such as internet-connected devices that operate environmental sensors and other “smart city” platforms. Plans would be designed with the goals of improving overall security, running regular vulnerability assessments and other threat-mitigation exercises and ensuring operational continuity — particularly public safety and law enforcement — in the event of a cyberattack. “As cyberattacks increase in frequency and gravity, we must ensure that our nation — from our local governments on up — is adequate..

Three ways state and local governments can get people excited about data projects

A host of organizations must get involved with a state or local government’s open data program before it can begin generating information rich enough to inform policy or improve operations. But officials from Austin and the Texas state government told a conference audience Monday that with persistence and open communication, it’s possible to convert skeptics into open-data advocates. Texas launched its open data portal as a pilot project in 2014 without much support. But as of early 2019, it’s logged 288 million downloads of its datasets, Ed Kelly, the state’s data coordinator, said at Tyler Technologies’ Connect conference in Dallas. The state has partnered with the city of Austin and is now looking for new partnerships with more city and county governments as it continues searching for ways to ply data against government’s challenges, he said. 1. Lead by example Kelly said that lifting the state’s data program out of […] Source

‘Small Places, Big Ideas’ innovation cohort for local governments announced

Local governments strapped for resources may soon find their best allies for uncovering innovations are other local governments hundreds of miles away. The software firm UrbanLeap on Friday announced a new partnership with ELGL, a network of more than 3,000 local government leaders, to establish a yearlong innovation program designed to give local governments a chance to pilot new ideas and technologies at low risk. Called the “Small Places, Big Ideas Innovation Cohort,” the program will allow 25 city, county and town governments a chance to build out new technologies designed to improve services offered to residents with the help of ELGL and UrbanLeap. In an attempt to assist local governments that may have fewer connections or less funding at hand, localities with populations below 30,000 will be given preferential treatment in the application process, according to a press release. Each applicant is required to dedicate at least one full-time […] Source