Expert Suggests Counties Prepare For Possible Federal Cyber Security Grants

An opinion piece in Government Technology describes federal cyber legislation and shares hope for local funding.

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Congressman Ruppersberger speaks about the vulnerability of the nation’s grid in his introduction to a MACo conference session on cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is a top concern of Maryland counties, and has been a focus of MACo’s newly created affiliate, of Maryland County Information Technology Officers. Cyber security was the subject of a panel discussion of state, local, and federal experts at MACo’s Summer Conference.

In an article published in Government Technology, Dan Lohrmann, former lead of Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure programs is hopeful regarding the potential for federal assistance with state and local cybersecurity development.

Lohrmann gives an overview of current federal legislation efforts, including The State Cyber Resiliency Act. As described by Lohrmann, The State Cyber Resiliency Act

. . . would leverage the existing State Cyber Resiliency Grant program to: “Assist State, local, and tribal governments in preventing, preparing for, protecting against, and responding to cyber threats, which shall be administered by the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Each state would be eligible to apply for grants after they submit an approved cyber-resiliency plan. The act has now been referred to many committees and subcommittees.

Following some analysis of federal legislative and budgetary politics, Lohrmann recommends that local government work with the US-CERT’s C3 Voluntary program and states,

Bottom line: I do think Congress and the Trump administration will provide some level of grants in the coming year for new cybersecurity projects for state and local governments. Start planning now to take your cyberprogram to the next level with these cybergrants.

For more information, see Will Congress Help Fund New State and Local Cyber Programs? from Government Technology.

For information on MACo’s panel on this subject, see Cybersecurity Panels Shares a Network of Resources.