IT Security Officers Brace for Threats.

AuthorGreenberg, Pam

State legislatures generally don't collect as much sensitive personal information as government agencies and the private sector, but increasingly they are being targeted by hackers who want to express political views or damage the reputations of politicians. Hackers have taken over legislative websites, used ransomware to lock up systems while demanding payment, and sent phishing emails that spread malware.

In a July 2017 survey by the National Association of Legislative Information Technology, legislative chief information officers and information technology managers identified security threats as one of their highest priorities and biggest challenges. Nearly all (94 percent) of the respondents said that battling security threats and taking additional security precautions would be either the "most important" or an "important" priority for the next one to three years. And 55 percent said the effort would be "very challenging"--a 10 percent increase over 2016.

In response, legislative IT managers are dedicating more attention and staff time to security. Some are...

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