A bipartisan bill that would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to manage a grant program to help state, local and tribal governments bolster their cyber security was reintroduced in the House and Senate this week.
Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced the State Cyber Resiliency Act (H.R. 2130), which would allow states to apply for grants that DHS awards to prepare for and respond to cyber threats and vulnerabilities and implement resiliency measures. The bill was also introduced in the House by Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas).
“Nearly 70 percent of states have reported that they lack adequate funding to develop sufficient cyber security,” Warner said April 8 in a statement. “This bill will aim to mitigate that need by providing grants to state and local jurisdictions so that they are better prepared to take on those emerging challenges.”
When applying for grants, states must submit cyber resiliency plans that meet a number of criteria, including how they will implement various cyber security measures and conduct continuous vulnerability assessments, adopt best practices, and mitigate their talent gaps.
“Despite playing a vital role in protecting our nation against cyber-attacks, state governments often do not have the vital resources they need to strengthen their cyber security capabilities or retain or recruit seasoned cyber security professionals,” McCaul stated. “As a co-chair of the House Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, I will continue to think holistically about protecting our networks on a federal, state and local level.”