Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a first-of-its-kind cybersecurity grant program specifically for state, local, and territorial (SLT) governments across the country. This State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program, made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides $1 billion in funding to SLT partners over four years, with $185 million available for FY22, to support SLT efforts to address cyber risk to their information systems.
With the release last week of a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), DHS has opened the application process for the grant program. Applicants have 60 days to apply for a grant, which can be used to fund new or existing cybersecurity programs. According to DHS, this grant program “will fund efforts to establish critical governance frameworks across states and territories to address cyber threats and vulnerabilities, identify key vulnerabilities and evaluate needed capabilities, implement measures to mitigate the threats, and develop a 21st-century cyber workforce across local communities.”
CISA Director Jen Easterly emphasizes, “As the nation’s cyber defense agency, CISA works hand-in-hand with our partners in state, local, and territorial governments who face unique cybersecurity challenges but often lack the resources to address them. The State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program will play a critical role in helping these organizations build their capability and capacity. We encourage all eligible entities to apply for grant funds to protect our critical infrastructure and communities from malicious cyber activity and to grow their partnership with CISA. CISA is here to provide the expertise, tools, and technical assistance to be a reliable partner to state, local, and territorial governments in combatting the growing cyber threats they face each day.” For more information visit CISA.