The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that $374.9 million in grant funding is available for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP).
The grant program is intended to help state, local, and territorial (SLT) governments strengthen their cyber resilience.
The grant program, in its second year, was established by the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act and is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. According to DHS, SLCGP provides $1 billion in funding over four years to support SLT governments as they develop capabilities to detect, protect against, and respond to cyber threats. DHS noted in a press release that this year’s funding allotment represents a “significant increase” from the $185 million allotted in FY2022.
“In today’s threat environment, any locality is vulnerable to a devastating cyberattack targeted at a hospital, school, water, or other system,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The Department of Homeland Security is helping to ensure that every community, regardless of size, funding, or resources, can meet these threats and keep their residents and their critical infrastructure safe and secure. These cybersecurity grants will help state, local, and territorial governments do just that, and I strongly urge communities across the country to submit an application.”
SLCGP is administered by both the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). DHS said that CISA provides expertise and guidance on cybersecurity issues while FEMA manages the grant award and allocation process.
“State and local governments are facing increasingly sophisticated cyber threats to their critical infrastructure and public safety,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “As the Nation’s Cyber Defense Agency, CISA is pleased to make available yet another tool to that will help strengthen cyber defenses for communities across the nation and bolster our collective cybersecurity.”
Additionally, the department noted that award recipients may use funding for a wide range of cybersecurity improvements and capabilities, including cybersecurity planning and exercising, hiring cyber personnel, and improving the services that citizens rely on daily.
“Building resilience requires more than mitigating against natural hazards,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “As our threat landscape continues to evolve, the funding provided through the state, local, and territorial cybersecurity grant program will increase capability to help communities better prepare and reduce cyber risks.”
State and local governments have until Oct. 6 to apply for the FY2023 grant opportunity.