- Executive Office of Technology Services and Security
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces 2023 Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program Awards
Boston — Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced the 2023 Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program award recipients. Administered by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security and its Office of Municipal and School Technology, this program will provide over 50,000 employees from 177 municipalities and public school districts across the Commonwealth with critical cybersecurity training to better detect and avoid cyber threats.
The 2023 Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program, which is funded by $250,000 in capital IT authorizations from the 2022 General Governmental Bond Bill, is designed to support local government efforts to improve overall cybersecurity posture through comprehensive online end-user training, evaluation, and threat simulation. Awarded communities will receive licenses for end-user training, assessment, and phishing simulation procured by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security. Demonstrated buy-in from the Chief Executive in the community is a requirement of all program participants.
“Our administration is committed to providing communities across Massachusetts with the resources they need to defend their technology against potential cyber threats,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We are thrilled to see municipal leaders from across the Commonwealth prioritize cybersecurity by providing this vital training to their employees. Our administration will continue to advocate for resources to further support our partners in municipal government to meet the needs of the constituents they serve.”
“Building good cybersecurity habits doesn’t require a technical background and is important for all employees in the digital era,” said Lt. Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “The Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program is an important resource for the Commonwealth’s municipalities, is provided at no cost, and is crafted to fit into the hectic and busy schedules that municipal officials, teachers, and administrative staff have.”
“This grant program is a critical component to ensuring that our local government technology is resilient, secure, and remains accessible to the constituents we serve,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Jason Snyder. “Municipal officials from across the Commonwealth are demonstrating their leadership on cybersecurity by participating in this important program and I thank them for their partnership in this initiative.”
Program participants begin their training with an initial cyber strength assessment to measure baseline cybersecurity awareness. Following the assessments, periodic assessments consisting of training modules and simulated phishing email campaigns help participants build good cyber hygiene habits to increase their awareness of deceptive techniques used by bad actors to gain unauthorized access to government systems. At the end of the program, participants complete a final cyber strength assessment to measure their progress.
The Commonwealth offers the training program free of cost to organizations, who are further supported with quarterly threat briefings and weekly newsletters with cybersecurity best practices and program updates provided by the Office of Municipal and School Technology. Municipal information technology officials also receive monthly summary progress reports that detail the number of employees that inadvertently clicked on malicious links contained in the simulated phishing emails, offering important visibility on the threat landscape.
In addition to the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program, The Healey-Driscoll Administration offers a number of other programs to further support municipal officials in their cybersecurity and information technology modernization efforts, including the Free Cybersecurity Health Check Program, the Community Compact IT Grant Program, and the Municipal Fiber Grant Program.
Municipal leaders are receiving additional support in their efforts to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of their respective organizations with the arrival of the first-of-its-kind State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program. Included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2021, the $1 billion grant program will provide much-needed funding to states to enhance municipal cybersecurity capabilities to defend against the increasing threat of cyber attacks that attempt to disrupt critical government service operations.
To see the full list of awardees, click here.
For more on the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program, visit: https://www.mass.gov/municipal-cybersecurity-awareness-grant-program.
For more information on the full list of municipal cybersecurity and IT program offerings from the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security’s Office of Municipal and School Technology, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/all-office-of-municipal-and-school-technology-omst-programs.