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07/17/2020
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Automatic for the cyber

The IT agencies in Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas are currently participating in a pilot project led by a Johns Hopkins University research lab to automate some of their cybersecurity processes as officials strive to make their information-security defenses more nimble. They're implementing tools developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory that automatically act on cyberthreat intelligence, rather than wait for changes to be entered manually, reducing  hours-long processes to just a few minutes.  “The massive amount of attacks and the rate at which they’re increasing, it’s just not a human-tenable problem," said Charlie Frick, a Johns Hopkins researcher leading the pilot. "Currently, we’re bringing people to a software fight.” Benjamin Freed reports.


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Innovation lessons from the pandemic

New Jersey’s Office of Innovation has been busy over the last several months in transforming the state government into a digital-first operation, enabling new online services that cover everything from COVID-19 health recommendations to internal supply chain check-ups. Working with the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, New Jersey officials said they've been able to rapidly modernize their communication systems and public health information resources through partnerships with new vendors and volunteer groups like the U.S. Digital Response. Ryan Johnston reports.


Well, OK

Even though it's already the subject of an FBI investigation, Wednesday’s cyberattack against Twitter, in which dozens of high-profile accounts were taken over by a cryptocurrency scam, will also be investigated by New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said yesterday. Cuomo said the state's Department of Financial Services, whose oversight includes the trading of digital currencies like bitcoin, will look into the incident. Ben has more.


As economy falters, Alabama Gov. Ivey creates innovation commission

As state officials attempt to balance a spike in COVID-19 cases with the economic effects of new safety requirements, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey yesterday announced a new statewide commission designed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. “Alabama has always had a rich foundation of developing technologies that have moved our state forward, from education to health care to aerospace, innovation is at the center of our everyday lives,” Ivey said in an announcement video. The commission will be overseen by a six-member board that includes former Secretary of State and Birmingham native Condoleezza Rice. Colin Wood reports.


Kansas City data chief takes budgeting role with Houston suburb

Kansas City, Missouri’s inaugural chief data officer, Eric Roche, moved this week to Pearland, Texas, to take over as the fast-growing Houston suburb's chief budget officer. But in an interview, Roche said data will play a central role in his new work. “[Pearland] feels that the future of budget offices is really around looking at data,” he said. “Budget shops traditionally are sort of the analyst hub in most mid-sized cities. It’s where you have sort of your analytical capacity already.” Ryan has more.


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