New Program Will Help City and State Governments Fund Cybersecurity Initiatives

While the federal government works with several organizations to beef up the nation’s cybersecurity efforts, HRCT works with Avanan to protect the systems and networks of organizations in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and surrounding areas. 

New Program Will Help City and State Governments Fund Cybersecurity Initiatives

While the federal government works with several organizations to beef up the nation’s cybersecurity efforts, HRCT works with Avanan to protect the systems and networks of organizations in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and surrounding areas.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), along with several other organizations, have been pushing the federal government for years to create a grant program to improve the cybersecurity of state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments.

In July 2020, the White House and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators negotiated a $1 billion new cybersecurity grant program as part of the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will distribute the grant funding over a four-year period beginning in the 2022 fiscal year.

The Cyber Grant Program

Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) gave tentative approval on the new grant program. CISA will serve as a subject matter expert for awarding the new money. FEMA runs DHS’s existing grant programs and will administer the funds.

FEMA has included some cybersecurity funding, along with state and local entities’ natural disaster and counterterrorism activities funding, over the years through its existing Homeland Security Grant program.

According to a summary released by CNN, there will be $200 million available in the first year of the program, $400 million in 2023, $300 million in 2024, and $100 million in 2025.

The new cybersecurity grant program will address inherent flaws and issues that the current grant programs have which provides cybersecurity assistance to SLTT entities. The legislative text has not been written yet and there may be more need than what the package will provide.

Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity panel and was lead sponsor of the House’s grant bill, feels that this new grant is a great start, but more will need to be done. She will continue to seek opportunities to provide additional support to state and local governments.

For several years, NASCIO and other groups representing state and local officials, like the National Governors Association (NGA), have pressed the need for more robust and consistent cybersecurity funding.

Due to the increased threats of ransomware, NASCIO, the NGA, and other organizations asked Congress in a letter, sent out in early July, to “authorize and fully fund” a cyber grant program.

The new grant will be the biggest federal investment in state and local cybersecurity but is still less than what was outlined in a bill the House approved earlier. That bill proposed $500 million in grants annually and would have been overseen by CISA. States would be required to put up matching funds.

In the federal infrastructure package, the new grant proposal is the largest of several cybersecurity proposals and includes a response and recovery fund at CISA, research and development at DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate, and funding for the new Office of the National Cyber Director.

HRCT and Avanan

While the federal government works with several organizations to beef up the nation’s cybersecurity efforts to protect networks and systems from being breached and attacked by ransomware and other cyber threats, HRCT works with Avanan to protect the systems and networks of organizations, large or small, in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and surrounding areas.

Emails play an important role in network cybersecurity. Your business needs a dependable filter in place that will detect and block malware and phishing attempts from your users. Users are your network’s weakest links and protecting your email systems should be at the top of your list of priorities.

Avanan is an enterprise cloud email security solution. It is powered by True AI to protect your inbox and has multi-layer security which enables full-suite protection. It protects cloud email and collaboration suites, such as Offices 365, G-suite, Teams, and Slack, from cyberattacks.

The Avanan platform blocks phishing, malware, data leakage, account takeover, and shadow IT across the entire enterprise. It replaces the need for multiple tools to secure the entire cloud collaboration suite.

Avanan was the first email security company to:

  • Protect the entire collaboration suite
  • Offer an API-based solution that blocks emails inline
  • Implement security for Microsoft Teams
  • Catch what Microsoft and G-Suite miss
  • Implement true machine learning to catch sophisticated attacks

HRCT offers many robust cybersecurity solutions and services to protect your organization, your employees, and your sensitive data. We will work with you to determine your company’s specific needs, provide you with solutions, set up your system, and provide ongoing maintenance and support.

To learn more about the cyber grant, Avanan, and how HRCT can improve your cybersecurity posture, call us today at (757) 399-3350 or send an email over to sales@hrct.net.