Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

State IT leaders: Federal cybersecurity grant program details still unclear

The US Department of Homeland Security has yet to provide more information regarding the $1 billion, four-year cybersecurity grant program, making the programs that could be allowed for state and local governments still uncertain, StateScoop reports. Rules under the new program, which mandates the distribution of 80% or more of state allocations to local jurisdictions, are poised to be more stringent than spending provided by the 2021 American Rescue Plan and the 2020 CARES Act, said Illinois Chief Information Officer Jennifer Ricker at a MeriTalk-hosted online event. "For the funds that had come previously, it’s been pretty easy for our agency. We don’t have to deal with the dregs of applications and funds. For the new cybersecurity grant, that’s a little to be seen," Ricker noted. Meanwhile, Virginia Chief Information Security Officer Michael Watson noted that he has been looking forward to spending provided funds efficiently, adding that the required submission of detailed cybersecurity plans among states applying for the program is an advantage. "We’re optimistic that the process and conditions are going to be reasonable and done in a way that’s going to facilitate a cybersecurity program," Watson said. State and local cybersecurity grants under the program are expected to be unveiled by summer, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

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