Below is a press release from the Massachusetts Governor’s Office:
BOSTON, MA — Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the second round of award recipients for the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program. Over 44,000 municipal and public school employees from 107 local government organizations across the Commonwealth will receive critical training to better detect and avoid cyber threats.
Wilmington was among those municipalities to receive a grant. As a result, 235 employees from the Town of Wilmington and Wilmington Public Schools will receive this training.
Identified by the National Governors Association (NGA) as “the single most effective factor in preventing security breaches and data losses,” this critical cybersecurity awareness training will provide online end-user training and cyber threat simulations to further educate municipal and public school employees participating in the program. The grant program is managed by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS) and is funded with $250,000 of capital IT authorizations from Governor Baker’s General Governmental Bond Bill, which the Legislature passed into law in 2020 to invest in Commonwealth cybersecurity and IT infrastructure modernization initiatives.
“Cyber threats continue to evolve, making cyber awareness training an essential tool for municipalities and public schools in the Commonwealth to equip their employees with the knowledge on how to avoid the potentially costly missteps of falling prey to cyber attacks,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We will continue to seek out opportunities to improve the cybersecurity posture of the Commonwealth and its communities.”
“Participation in these cyber awareness grants is a great way for municipalities to best protect their IT and data assets from cyber threats without having to divert resources away from other important government services,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to collaborate with our partners in local government to best protect the communities we serve.”
Building off of the first-ever Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program announced at the end of 2019, this new grant round will provide updated training for both municipalities and school districts who participated in the previous round as well as those new to the program. The online training materials provided to municipal and public school employees includes a variety of cybersecurity attack simulations that reflect malicious luring techniques commonly used by cyber criminals to gain access to IT systems and data:
- Email phishing attacks
- ‘Smishing’ SMS attacks
- USB drop attacks
- Link-based, attachment-based, and data-entry attacks
“In addition to providing training to the Commonwealth’s state workforce, we are thrilled to extend this vital training to our partners in local government,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curt Wood. “Building a culture of cyber awareness, local governments can grow their security teams to be the responsibility of all employees.”