September 9 2022

This Week in Washington 

CyberScoop CISA to formally solicit industry feedback on cybersecurity incident reporting rules
Federal cyber officials will formally ask industry leaders “in the next couple of days” to help shape the regulatory structure for cybersecurity incident reporting, Jen Easterly, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said Wednesday. The incident reporting framework follows the new law that President Biden signed in March requiring that critical infrastructure owners and operators to report major cyberattacks to CISA within 72 hours and ransomware attacks within 24 hours.

Fierce Telecom NTIA won’t have the broadband map it needs for BEAD until 2023
Billions in federal broadband funding is stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to release new coverage maps which will be used to determine how much each state will receive. But while the FCC just announced plans to come out with the first version of its new map in mid-November, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) chief Alan Davidson indicated his agency won’t use the first rendering to divvy up broadband support.

Axios Protecting water from cyberattacks
The Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to secure the country’s water supply from cyberattack faces giant hurdles. They include: The water system’s low government funding and staffing levels, a heavy reliance on legacy IT, and the patchwork nature of the tens of thousands of local U.S. water authorities. The EPA submitted its initial plan for tackling water security to Congress last month, laying out which systems it would slot for technical assistance first during a cyberattack. The agency is expected to roll out new rules this fall requiring state officials to include cybersecurity concerns in their existing water inspections, an official told E&E News.

The Hill Debate heats up over bill targeting Google, Facebook’s power over local news
The debate around a proposal that aims to give news outlets the power to negotiate with tech giants to distribute their content is heating up ahead of a Senate markup of the bill slated for Thursday. Bipartisan sponsors of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act in the House and Senate released a revised version of the bill in August, which kicked off campaigns from advocacy groups for and against the legislation.

Roll Call Raimondo announces strategy to boost US chip manufacturing ahead of Biden’s Ohio trip
Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo on Tuesday unveiled a strategy for the Commerce Department’s disbursal of $50 billion that Congress approved to boost domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips, saying she expected the first money to flow in the spring of 2023. “With this funding we are going to make sure that the United States is never again in a position where our national security interests are compromised or key industries are immobilized due to our inability to produce essential semiconductors here at home,” Raimondo said at a White House news briefing.

Nextgov Election Officials Have Been Largely Successful in Deterring Cyber Threats, CISA Official Says
Increased coordination between federal agencies, election officials, and private sector election vendors has helped deter an influx of cyber threats directed at U.S. voting systems, an election official from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Thursday during an event hosted by the Election Assistance Commission and Pepperdine University.

NBC News Criminal hackers targeting K-12 schools, U.S. government warns
Criminal hackers have recently targeted U.S. school districts and will likely continue to escalate their attacks this school year, federal agencies warned Tuesday. The alert — issued by the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and MS-ISAC, a nonprofit organization that shares cyber threats — warned that “attacks may increase as the 2022/2023 school year begins and criminal ransomware groups perceive opportunities for successful attacks.”

Article Summary

Associated Press Internet service providers drop challenge of privacy law
One of the strictest internet privacy laws in the United States has withstood a legal challenge, as a group of telecommunication providers has dropped its bid to overturn the Maine standard. Maine created one of the toughest rules in the nation for internet service providers in 2020 when it began enforcing an “opt-in” web privacy standard. The law stops the service providers from using, disclosing, selling or providing access to customers’ personal information without permission. Industry associations swiftly sued with a claim that the new law violated their First Amendment rights. A federal judge rejected that challenge, but legal wrangling continued.

NBC News Cyberattacks against U.S. hospitals mean higher mortality rates, study finds
Cyberattacks against health care facilities, a near-constant occurrence in the U.S., often lead to increased patient mortality rates, a new study has found. The study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank, interviewed more than 600 information technology professionals across more than 100 health care facilities. Its findings are some of the most concrete evidence to date that the steady drumbeat of hackers attacking American medical centers leads to patients’ receiving worse care and being more likely to die.

StateScoop State edtech leaders say schools have insufficient cybersecurity funding
Only a handful of U.S. states and territories are seen to be providing sufficient funding to tackle the growing cyberthreats against K-12 schools, according to a new survey of state educational technology leaders. The inaugural State EdTech Trends Report, published by the State Educational Technology Directors Association and Whiteboard Advisors, includes responses from more than 80 educational technology directors, state superintendents and other senior state officials from all 50 states.

Fortune How A.I. technologies could help resolve food insecurity
Nearly 598 million people suffer from hunger worldwide. The USDA reports that 39 million people, including 18 million children, are food insecure in America alone. Many factors lead to a person not having a consistent food source, including availability, access, and consumption. Food must first be available, but it becomes limited because of war, climate, or recently COVID-19. Access then depends on factors, such as a person’s income or the logistical means to distribute and accept the food. Because food insecurity is so wide-reaching and triggered by countless circumstances, data is critical in streamlining responses.

Axios 2nd largest U.S. school district hit by ransomware attack
The Los Angeles Unified School District said Tuesday it was targeted by a ransomware attack over the weekend but was able to keep its schools open as scheduled despite “significant disruption” to its digital infrastructure. Los Angeles Unified, the second largest school district in the United States serving over 650,000 students at about 1,000 schools, said it was still experiencing disruptions to its email, computer systems and applications.

Featured Podcast

Work in Progress

  • Podcast on Increasing Digital Literacy
    In this episode of Work in Progress, Alison Ascher Webber, director of strategic initiatives, U.S., with EdTech Center @ World Education, joins me to discuss adult digital literacy. Digital literacy is an essential skill for today’s workforce, yet 30 million adults are still struggling to learn basic technology and one in five Americans still don’t have internet access. The digital divide remains a serious barrier to work and education opportunities. (The next steps toward increasing adult digital literacy – September 6, 2022)