The Department of Homeland Security last week launched a four-year $1 billion cybersecurity grant program for state, local and territorial governments to address risks to their information systems.
The program was directed by Congress through the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which was included in a bipartisan infrastructure bill this year that also provided the funding.
The new grant program was launched through a Notice of Funding Opportunity and gives applicants 60 days to apply.
The grant program will help state, local and territorial governments obtain resources to bolster their cyber defenses. Funding will be used to establish governance frameworks to address cyber threats and vulnerabilities, identify vulnerabilities, evaluate needed capabilities, implement measures to reduce threats, and develop a cyber workforce across local communities.
The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which leverages the expertise and capabilities of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
“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,” CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a statement. “The State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program will play a critical role in helping these organizations build their capability and capacity. CISA is here to provide the expertise, tools and technical assistance to be a reliable partner” to these governments.