State designates “Cyber Aware Communities” to Southwick and Blandford school districts –

BOSTON (WWLP) – The top performing participants in this year’s round of the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program were designated Cyber Aware Communities at a virtual event hosted during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS).
Cyberattacks on municipal government and education systems are on the rise nationwide as cyber threat actors are utilizing common threat actions such as phishing, smishing, hacking, and ransomware attacks to gain access to an organization’s IT networks and sensitive data, and recent high profile ransomware attacks and hacks have disrupted operations in both the public and private sector. Identified by the National Governors Association (NGA) as “the single most effective factor in preventing security breaches and data losses,” employee cybersecurity awareness training is a critical tool for organizations to prepare its workforce to best defend against potential cyber threats.  
The Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program is managed by EOTSS’ Office of Municipal and School Technology (OMST) as an effort to invest in modernizing cybersecurity and IT infrastructure. In the first two years of the program, 62,000 municipal and public school employees have enrolled in the program, gaining access to critical end-user training, evaluations, and threat simulations. Participating organizations include large cities, small towns, and school districts state wide. Results have shown that participants receiving the cybersecurity awareness training on average saw a 6-point improvement on the final assessment of the training course.  
The full list of awardees recognized as a Cyber Aware Community: 
For more information on the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program here. Additional cybersecurity and IT resources available to municipalities and public schools can be found here.
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