WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) applauded a joint announcement by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on a Notice of Funding Opportunity for a new grant program that will help local governments better protect their networks from cyber intrusions. Led by Senator Hassan, the senators were instrumental in the creation of the program, and secured $1 billion over four years to fund the program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Peters serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Hassan serves as Chair of the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee. U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also helped to secure this funding.
“State and local governments in Michigan and across the country often lack the necessary resources to defend against cyber-attacks, which can cost taxpayers millions of dollars and compromise sensitive personal data. That is why I worked alongside Senators Hassan and Portman to create this critical grant program, and secure $1 billion for it through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Senator Peters. “Today’s announcement means that local communities will be able to obtain increased federal resources that will help them identify cybersecurity threats and mitigate the effects of online attacks. As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I’ll continue leading efforts to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity defenses and hold criminal hackers accountable for targeting our networks.”
“Cyberattacks pose a serious threat to everything from our national security to the operation of our local governments, schools, and hospitals,” said Senator Hassan. “I was proud to work across the aisle to create the state and local cybersecurity grant program, and I look forward to seeing how communities put this funding to work.”
State and local governments increasingly find themselves targeted by high-profile cyber-attacks. Michigan’s Chief Security Officer has estimated that criminal hackers try to break into the state’s networks more than 90 million times a day – though they are usually stopped. In 2019, the Board of Commissioners from Genesee County in Michigan reported similar attacks on their network, after hackers locked their system and demanded payment for its release. This new grant program will help state, local, Tribal and territorial governments modernize systems to protect sensitive data, information, and public critical infrastructure.