Emefa Addo Agawu wrote for Slate on the critical role of state and local governments in cybersecurity:
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.
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.