Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces the Commonwealth’s First-Ever Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program Awards

For immediate release:
10/31/2019
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Executive Office of Technology Services and Security

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces the Commonwealth’s First-Ever Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program Awards

Sarah Finlaw, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

Baker-Polito Administration Announces the Commonwealth’s First-Ever Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program Awards

WORCESTERToday, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curt Wood joined legislative, municipal and public school officials to announce $250,000 in grants awarded to 94 municipalities and public school districts across the Commonwealth to provide critical cybersecurity awareness training for over 42,000 employees to better detect and avoid cyber threats. Lt. Governor Polito addressed the group of award recipients at Worcester City Hall to mark the end of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Employees in communities participating in the program will receive interactive online training in topics ranging from email security to USB device safety. Employees will also receive simulated phishing emails. Phishing is a growing threat in local government in which an attacker seeks to influence the employee to take an action that may be harmful to the organization, by masquerading as a trusted entity.

“Raising awareness of the challenges posed by cyber threats is an important strategy for the Commonwealth’s communities to best train and equip its employees with the tools needed to defend against cyber threats,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to collaborate with our partners in local government to understand how we can better protect our communities.” 

“Cybersecurity is a critical issue for Massachusetts communities and schools who face cybersecurity threats but sometimes lack the resources to prepare for and combat them,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These first-ever cybersecurity grant funds are a crucial tool to complement the over $9 million in funding for municipal IT infrastructure projects through the Community Compact program in providing Massachusetts communities and schools the resources and tools they need to combat cyber threats.”

The grant funding was included, in part in the Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget passed by the Legislature and matched by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security to ensure as many communities and schools could participate in the cybersecurity training as possible.

In June 2017, Governor Baker filed legislation through the Article 87 government restructuring process under the Massachusetts Constitution to establish the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security as the cabinet-level lead information technology organization in the Executive Branch.

The Executive Office of Technology Services and Security began deployment of annualized cybersecurity awareness training for Executive Branch employees to better detect and mitigate cyber threats at the state level in 2018. The training will be enhanced year-over-year to account for evolving trends in cyber threats.

In April 2019, Governor Baker filed a $1.1 billion bond bill that includes $600 million in information technology (IT) infrastructure funding. $140 million of the funds are dedicated to further enhance the cybersecurity of the Commonwealth’s digital assets including the standing up of a new Security Operations Center.

“Cyberattacks are an emerging and increasing threat to communities across the Commonwealth and the nation,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curt Wood. “By strengthening our communities’ cybersecurity posture, we are preparing municipal and school employees to better detect and defend against cyber threats.”

“Failure to proactively defend against cybersecurity threats in today’s digital world puts both the city and its residents at risk,” said Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus. “This is why training city staff to follow best practices and to be vigilant in the prevention of online attacks is so critical. We are grateful that the State is taking this issue seriously and we will continue to work together to keep our community safe.”

“In the wake of growing concerns relative to data privacy, security and increased threats, we are taking action to improve the Commonwealth’s preparedness within the cyber space,” said Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury), who served as Chair of the Senate Special Committee on Cyber Security Readiness.  “These efforts complement a national conversation and need for resources to support cybersecurity readiness.  I commend the Administration for taking an active role in working to better prepare our schools and municipalities for these very real threats.”

Applicant

Organization(s)

Employees to Receive Cyber Training

Abington Public Schools

School only

250

Acton-Boxborough Regional School District

School only

900

Town of Agawam

Town only

225

City of Amesbury and Amesbury Public Schools

Town and School

550

Town of Amherst

Town only

370

Town of Ashland and Ashland Public Schools

Town and School

600

Town of Auburn

Town only

150

Town of Bedford and Bedford Public Schools

Town and School

647

Belmont Public Schools

School only

450

Town of Berlin

Town only

226

Town of Boylston

Town only

292

Town of Braintree and Braintree Public Schools

Town and School

1000

Town of Brewster

Town only

160

Town of Bridgewater

Town only

175

Town of Burlington and Burlington Public Schools

Town and School

800

Town of Carlisle and Carlisle Public Schools

Town and School

25

Town of Carver and Carver Public Schools

Town and School

300

Southern Worcester County Regional School District

School only

218

City of Chelsea and Chelsea Public Schools

Town and School

1200

Town of Danvers and Danvers Public Schools

Town and School

925

Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School

School only

20

Dedham-Westwood Water District

Town only

15

Frontier Regional and Union 38 School Districts

School only

5

Town of Eastham

Town only

75

Town of Easton

Town only

150

Town of Edgartown

Town only

100

Framingham Public Schools

School only

1600

City of Gloucester

Town only

345

Town of Granby and Granby Public Schools

Town and School

200

Greenfield Public Schools

School only

53

Town of Halifax

Town only

100

South Shore Regional Vocational Technical School District

School only

100

Town of Holbrook and Holbrook Public Schools

Town and School

150

Town of Holden

Town only

173

Town of Holliston and Holliston Public Schools

Town and School

112

Town of Hopkinton and Hopkinton Public Schools

Town and School

120

Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District

School only

400

Town of Lancaster

Town only

94

City of Leominster and Leominster Public Schools

Town and School

1554

Town of Leverett

Town only

150

Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District

School only

164

Lincoln Public Schools

School only

322

Littleton Public Schools

School only

200

Town of Longmeadow and Longmeadow Public Schools

Town and School

782

City of Lowell and Lowell Public Schools

Town and School

2500

Ludlow Public Schools

School only

295

Town of Marblehead

Town only

162

Town of Marshfield and Marshfield Public Schools

Town and School

30

Town of Maynard and Maynard Public Schools

Town and School

200

Town of Medway and Medway Public Schools

Town and School

500

Town of Merrimac

Town only

177

Town of Middleton

Town only

554

Town of Milford

Town only

250

Town of Millis and Millis Public Schools

Town and School

350

Town of Milton

Town only

230

Town of Nantucket and Nantucket Public Schools

Town and School

100

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical School District

School only

341

City of New Bedford and New Bedford Public Schools

Town and School

3300

Triton Regional School District

School only

50

Town of Newbury

Town only

45

City of Newburyport

Town only

300

City of North Adams

Town only

100

Town of North Andover and North Andover

Town and School

1200

North Reading Public Schools

School only

375

Town of Norwood and Norwood Public Schools

Town and School

125

Nauset Public Schools

School only

400

Town of Pelham

Town only

159

Town of Pepperell

Town only

90

Town of Phillipston

Town only

24

City of Pittsfield and Pittsfield Public Schools

Town and School

1519

Town of Plymouth

Town only

375

Town of Randolph and Randolph Public Schools

Town and School

500

Town of Rockland

Town only

75

Town of Scituate

Town only

165

Town of Seekonk and Seekonk Public Schools

Town and School

400

Mohawk Trail Regional School District

School only

300

Town of Somerset

Town only

114

Town of Sterling

Town only

70

Stoneham Public Schools

School only

250

Greater Lowell Technical High School

School only

400

Town of Tyngsborough

Town only

104

Town of Upton

Town only

135

City of Waltham

Town only

700

Town of Ware

Town only

295

Town of Wareham and Wareham Public Schools

Town and School

500

Town of Watertown and Watertown Public Schools

Town and School

400

Town of West Springfield and West Springfield School District

Town and School

1030

Town of West Tisbury

Town only

50

City of Westfield and Westfield Public Schools

Town and School

2600

Town of Westport and Westport Community Schools

Town and School

500

Town of Weymouth

Town only

535

Town of Wilmington and Wilmington Public Schools

Town and School

600

City of Worcester and Worcester Public Schools

Town and School

1800

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces the Commonwealth’s First-Ever Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program Awards

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

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