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Learn more about New Federal Funding Opportunities for the Public Sector

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While we’ve seen organizations of all shapes and sizes hit with cyberattacks in the last several years, Local and State government entities have been uniquely targeted. In fact, an average of 19.6% of government entities were targeted by malware in any given month. High-profile attacks over the past few years, like the ones in Atlanta and Baltimore, have made headlines, and the trends reflect the fact that local governments continue to be highly susceptible to cyberattacks.

The Public Sector remains one of the top targets for malicious attacks—cybercriminals know encrypting one small system has far-reaching impacts that can easily disable an entire community. Both local and state government agencies rely on functional IT systems and their customers (citizens) expect the critical public services they rely on to be available. A 911 dispatch center or fire station can’t be “closed” because of a cyberattack.

There is some good news though. As part of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act passed last year, a total of one billion dollars in funding— disbursed over four years—was allocated to grants for Local, State, and Tribal governments to improve their cybersecurity maturity and posture. This grant funding has been allocated by CISA (with FEMA assistance) starting in 2022 with the total grant program sunsetting in 2026.

In September 2022, the United States Federal Government released guidance regarding how the $183.5 million allocated for the first year of the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program will be distributed. In this program, the Federal Government will be providing funding allocations to the respective states to distribute to the applicants. For the agencies receiving grants there is a 10% cost-share requirement. Preference will be shown towards funding requests for assisting agencies with the development and implementation of comprehensive cybersecurity strategies and programs.

Each state is now in the process of identifying specific agencies and processes that will be used to administer these grants. This program represents a huge opportunity for Local and State agencies to access much-needed funding to help keep their systems and citizens safe, stable, and secure. As we learn more about the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Programs, we’ll continue to share that information.

Cyber74 and our partner MSPs can help you navigate your State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program—determining the best ways to improve the cybersecurity maturity and preparedness at your organization.

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Tim Weber