The Healey-Driscoll administration today announced the participants in the Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness training program for 2024.

Administered by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security and its Office of Municipal and School Technology, the program will provide critical cybersecurity training to 78,000 employees from 227 municipalities and public school districts across Massachusetts in order to help them better detect and avoid cyberthreats.

The program is provided at no cost to municipalities or employees taking the training.

The Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness program is designed to support local government efforts to improve overall cyber readiness through comprehensive online end-user training, evaluation and threat simulation. Awarded communities will receive licenses for end-user training, assessment and phishing simulation procured by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security.

Program participants begin their training with an initial cyber strength assessment to measure baseline cybersecurity awareness. Following the assessments, periodic assessments consisting of training modules and simulated phishing email campaigns help participants improve their “cyber hygiene” habits and increase their awareness of deceptive techniques used by criminals to gain unauthorized access to government systems. At the end of the program, participants complete a final cyber strength assessment to measure their progress.

Gov. Maura Healey said the administration is “thrilled to see so many cities and towns prioritize cyber readiness” through the state program. Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said the training “makes clear that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, whether we have IT in our job titles or not.”

Technology Services and Security Secretary Jason Snyder said cybersecurity comes up as a top priority in his conversations with municipal officials.

“We work best in Massachusetts when state and municipal organizations work together,” he said, “and this grant program exemplifies this commitment.”

Participating municipal organizations are further supported with quarterly threat briefings and weekly newsletters with cybersecurity best practices and program updates provided by the Office of Municipal and School Technology. Municipal information technology officials also receive monthly summary progress reports that detail the number of employees who inadvertently clicked on malicious links contained in the simulated phishing emails, offering important visibility on the threat landscape.

The administration offers a number of other programs to further support municipal officials in their cybersecurity and information technology modernization efforts, including a Free Cybersecurity Health Check Program, the Community Compact IT Grant Program, and the Community Compact Municipal Fiber Grant Program.