You probably heard all about the devastating ransomware attack WannaCry. Starting May 12, it ripped through the globe, infecting more than 300,000 computers worldwide. What you probably didn't hear was that the first reported appearance of the worm in the U.S. was on government computers in Cook County, Illinois.
Though they're easy to overlook, states and localities play an enormous role in the lives of their citizens. In fact, when it comes to cybersecurity, your daily life might be far more affected by your state or city government than national policy. After all, if you drive, your Department of Motor Vehicles has collected a massive amount of information about you. Cities around the country are deploying all sorts of sensors to improve citizen quality of life by tracking things like traffic data or waste. Your state's official cybersecurity strategies will dictate how it responds to a crisis like, say, an attack on the network of the state agency in charge of corrections. These are all state and local issues, playing an outsize role in your life. Malicious actors have already realized this and are increasingly targeting states and cities with ransomware and other hacking attempts.