Massachusetts Announces Cybersecurity Program

The governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, recently announced a new program to help cities and towns develop strategies to prevent cyber attacks. The cybersecurity program will include statewide workshops for municipalities to work together to enhance their cybersecurity capabilities. The program will be lead by the MassCyberCenter at the MassTech Collaborative.

“The more capable the public realm becomes, the greater the challenges and the greater the risks associated with trust,” Baker said. “We need to do things to help.”

The $300,000 Cybersecurity Program complements a similar program led by the National Governors Association (NGA). Staff from the division of Homeland Security and Public Safety of NGA Solutions: The Center for Best Practices will collaborate with cyber-related state agencies to help improve cybersecurity strategies in the public sector. Massachusetts was one of seven states selected by the NGA for the first phase of this program, to help develop an action plan and identify key priorities in cybersecurity. Participants from governors’ offices, state information technology departments, homeland security agencies, National Guard units and others will work collaboratively to improve inter-agency coordination and collaboration.

“We see governors and states as the front line of cybersecurity,” said Jeff McLeod, director of NGA Homeland Security and Public Safety.

Massachusetts currently offers three grant programs aimed at reducing the gap of 9,000 open cybersecurity jobs that exist in the state.

“It is important that our commonwealth is prepared to tackle the challenges faced by cybersecurity threats and I am proud we are at the forefront of this critical issue,” Senate president Karen Spilka said. “As founder and former chair of the TechHub Caucus, I learned firsthand how collaboration between the tech sector and government helps inform better policy. I look forward to that partnership continuing as we work together to address and raise awareness about how we can best protect our public and private sectors.”