The Towns of Saugus and Marblehead, along with Swampscott Public Schools, have received a grant from the Healey-Driscoll administration to facilitate cybersecurity awareness training.
The program, which is administered by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security and its Office of Municipal and School Technology, will provide training to better detect and avoid cyber threats to 78,000 employees from 227 municipalities and public school districts across the state.
The program begins with a baseline assessment of participants’ cybersecurity awareness before moving to training modules and simulated phishing emails to “build good cyber hygiene habits” and increase awareness of tools used to gain access to government systems, according to a statement from the EOTSS.
“Our administration is committed to partnering with our municipalities to move forward on our shared IT and cybersecurity goals,” Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement. “We are thrilled to see so many cities and towns prioritize cyber readiness through the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Training Grant Program.”
The state offers the program for free to municipal organizations, and municipal IT officials also receive monthly summary progress reports detailing the number of employees who clicked on malicious links in simulated phishing emails.
The program is designed to support local governments in their efforts to improve “overall cyber readiness.” Communities that received the grant will get licenses for end-user training, assessment, and phishing simulation, the statement said.
“Programs like the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant really move the needle with our municipal workforce, which is where the rubber meets the road on cybersecurity,” Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said. “This program, provided at no cost to municipalities or employees taking the training, makes clear that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, whether we have IT in our job titles or not.”
Secretary of Technology Services and Security Jason Snyder said cybersecurity has been consistently raised as a top priority in his conversations with municipal officials across the state.
“We work best in Massachusetts when state and municipal organizations work together, and this grant program exemplifies this commitment,” Snyder said in the statement.