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DHS Cybersecurity Grant Program Begins Funding Rollout for State, Local Governments

Cybersecurity funding

DHS Cybersecurity Grant Program Begins Funding Rollout for State, Local Governments

State and local governments are starting to receive funds from a four-year, $1 billion Department of Homeland Security grant program aimed at strengthening defense and response capabilities against threats to information systems.

Tribal administrations are also set to receive support under a separate program, for which the funding notice is still being crafted.

In all, 56 states and territories were eligible for the DHS grant, but only 54 applied; Florida and South Dakota opted out.

The initial release of funds is meant to help applicants craft plans on how to distribute the rest of the grant to beneficiaries. According to Bess Mitchell, the grant operations branch chief at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, only 11 out of the 54 applicants have so far submitted plans. The rest have up to Sept. 30 to submit theirs, StateScoop reported Friday.

Alaina Clark, CISA’s assistant director for stakeholder engagement, said once the plans are approved, the rest of the money under the grant program’s first year will be released. Clark noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is responsible for approving the budget for each applicant.

The grant programs for tribal governments and state and local governments were established by Congress under the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, itself mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

DHS issued a funding opportunity notice for the state and local program in September 2022. Approximately $200 million was set aside for fiscal year 2022 with $400 million expected for fiscal year 2023, the program’s second year.

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Category: Cybersecurity