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Through the Years: A Broad Look at Two Decades in Cybersecurity

October 1, 2021

Government Technology

Just over a decade ago in 2010, state and local agencies were breaking their dependences on desktop computers and paper-based processes, and embracing mobile technologies like smartphones, laptops and even the brand-new iPad. Governments kept an eye on the dangerous side of digital, too. As cyber criminals became more sophisticated, the Obama White House introduced the U.S. Cyber Command within the Department of Defense and states across the country started adding a new chief to their payroll: chief information security officer.

Now in 2021, cybersecurity has become a national — and international — focus, with ransomware attacks hitting consumers at the gas pump and the supermarket. Increasingly ubiquitous technologies like artificial intelligence, the cloud and IoT are reshaping the threat and defense landscape.

Ransomware perpetrators often launch automated mass attacks in indiscriminate attempts to penetrate wide swathes of organizations — and school districts’ and local governments’ antiquated defenses are especially likely to fall, Center for Internet Security (CIS) President and CEO John Gilligan told GovTech.