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The White House has recently announced a $1 billion cyber security grant program that is designed to help state and local governments improve their cyber defences, especially about protecting critical infrastructure. The recent executive order stems from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that was signed almost a year ago. That bill allocated $1 billion for protecting critical infrastructure against cyber-attack in the wake of a series of high-profile ransomware attacks such as the one that brought down the Colonial Pipeline.

Those government agencies who wish to take advantage of these funding opportunities must submit a grant proposal by mid-November. Proposals are only being accepted for the sixty days following the program’s announcement.

Grant recipients can use the funding to invest in new cybersecurity initiatives or to make improvements to existing defences. Awardees are guaranteed to receive a minimum of $2 million. However, the program’s requirements stipulate that 80% of the funding must be invested in local or rural communities. Additionally, recipients are required to distribute at least 3% of funds received to tribal governments.

Although companies in the private sector are not eligible for these grants, the private sector will likely see an indirect benefit. The fact that governments are placing an increased focus on cyber security will surely help IT security teams because of the attention that it will bring to the seriousness of addressing cyber security threats.

This national attention, in turn, should make it easier for IT security teams to get their budgets approved.

images from Hacker News