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05/19/2022
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WorkScoop

'A racecar without seatbelts'

E-Rate, the FCC program that gives school districts discounts on network devices, needs to be revised to cover purchases of cybersecurity products, not just networking devices, Amy McLaughlin, the cybersecurity program director at CoSN, told members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee yesterday. “It’s like funding a racecar without seatbelts and airbags,” she told StateScoop after the hearing. Benjamin Freed reports.


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It's a baby bot!

For the past two-and-a-half years, the IT shop behind Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare, has been on a mission to automate as many things as possible, and it’s automated a lot. The program's CIO, Hugh Hale, said the automated processes have helped enrollment, especially among eligible newborns, who are automatically added by a piece of software dubbed the "baby bot." Colin Wood has the story.


States gear up for federal broadband funding

On this week’s episode of the Priorities Podcast, Ben talks with Nate Denny, North Carolina's deputy secretary for broadband and digital equity, about how the state is getting ready to apply for its slice of $45 billion in federal broadband funding from the 2021 infrastructure law. A key focus, he says, is incentivizing the private sector to build out service in lesser-connected areas. Listen to the podcast.


More cyber bills on the way

The U.S. House yesterday approved legislation encouraging closer coordination between CISA and state and local government. The bill largely codifies information-sharing that's already taking place, putting into writing the relationship between the NCCIC, CISA's main threat-analysis facility, and state and local officials, like CIOs and secretaries of state. The State and Local Cybersecurity Act, which the Senate passed in January, now heads to President Biden's desk. Ben has details.


It's not Tuesday, but patch anyway

CISA issued an emergency directive yesterday requiring federal civilian agencies to patch vulnerable VMware products that could be chained together for full system control. While the order applies only to federal agencies, CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a press release that the "unacceptable risk" should encourage "every organization – large and small" to update their VMware products. Read more on FedScoop.


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