Westborough, Grafton employees to receive cybersecurity training

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Westborough, Grafton employees to receive cybersecurity training
Westborough is one of two area communities receiving grant support for cybersecurity training. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

REGION – Town employees in Westborough and Grafton will receive new cybersecurity training thanks to a series of state grants. 

Announced earlier this month, the grants come from the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program, making Westborough and Grafton two of 210 municipalities and public school districts receiving this support this year. 

Trainings will focus on cyber threat detection and avoidance.

“Today’s announcement is a good step forward in the Commonwealth’s ability to resist cyber threats,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at an event announcing these awards on March 8. 

Lt. Gov.Karyn Polito, likewise, called cybersecurity “a growing issue that should not be ignored.”

“The Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program is an important resource for the Commonwealth’s local governments and public schools to address this issue head-on while increasing their cyber threat resiliency,” she continued.

Cybersecurity has been a topic of discussion across the region and the nation in recent years.

Outside of Grafton and Westborough, officials in Southborough discussed the issue last year amid a larger debate about expanding the town’s technology department. 

“There needs to be more sense of urgency with our cybersecurity,” Advisory Committee member Timothy Martel said in a meeting with the Board of Selectmen. “We are going to be attacked if we don’t have security in-house soon.”

Experts have subsequently heightened their warnings in recent months, with federal authorities noting an increased international cyber threat following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Just last Monday, the White House circulated a list of recommended steps for companies to take to protect themselves. 

“We will do everything in our power to defend the Nation and respond to cyberattacks,” that memo read, in part. “But the reality is that much of the Nation’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and the private sector must act to protect the critical services on which all Americans rely.”

Back at the state level, Massachusetts’ Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program gives awardees licenses for trainings, assessments and simulations. 

See a full list of award winners at https://www.mass.gov/doc/2022-municipal-cybersecurity-awareness-grant-program-awards/download.

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