BOSTON (SHNS) – More than 44,000 employees from 107 municipal governments and public school systems across Massachusetts will be trained to better defend their organizations from cyber threats as part of the state’s Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program.

“Cyber threats continue to evolve, making cyber awareness training an essential tool for municipalities and public schools in the Commonwealth to equip their employees with the knowledge on how to avoid the potentially costly missteps of falling prey to cyber attacks,” Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The local officials will experience cyberattack simulations “that reflect malicious luring techniques commonly used by cyber criminals to gain access to IT systems and data” and will be trained to detect threats in the early stages.

Participants come from all over the state:

  • 475 Pittsfield employees
  • 275 from Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District
  • 3,500 employees of New Bedford and its school system
  • 1,000 Natick Public Schools employees
  • 600 Lawrence municipal employees
  • Just shy of 1,000 town and school employees from Falmouth

“We are thrilled to extend this vital training to our partners in local government,” Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curt Wood said. “Building a culture of cyber awareness, local governments can grow their security teams to be the responsibility of all employees.” The program is run by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security and is funded with $250,000 of capital funding authorized in a 2020 bond bill.