US official in trouble over 'refusal' to complete cyber training

Published on: 27 Sep 2019

More cyber training courses in US local government are becoming compulsory, as one official found to his detriment.

Demonstrating the importance of cyber training to some government organisations, one official in the US has found himself in hot water over his apparent refusal to complete a course.

Dean Massey, an alderman in the Tennessee city of Germantown, was officially censured for failing to complete the 45-minute training session within a given deadline.

Usually reserved for offences such as misuse of public funds and even sexual harassment, the censure stated that Mr Massey "wilfully and intentionally placed and continues to place the city of Germantown at risk of a cyber security breach by refusing to take reasonable training measures to prevent online security attacks".

He has now been told he must complete the course by the end of this week. Mr Massey claimed he never refused to take the training in the first place and simply wanted to discuss cyber security policy in more detail.

With Big Brother Watch finding last year that Britain's local governments were hit by almost 100 million cyber attacks between 2013 and 2017, it may be that more authorities in this country will be implementing mandatory training courses.