Local Governments To Strengthen Their Cyberdefense

Date: 2022-10-19
Author: Gabriela Peralta, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator

Local Governments To Strengthen Their Cyberdefense

There has been an increase in local government attacks by 70%. The US government has responded with a first-of-its-kind grant program to fund a resilient cyberdefense, establish incident response initiatives, and promote strong cybersecurity practices at the local level.

Sophos reports 2021 received a sharp rise in local governments hit by ransomware attacks, an increase of 70% in only one year. We saw large school districts in the headlines trying to get back online during the school year, among other attacks.

On September 16, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will distribute $1 billion over the next four years to help eligible entities address cybersecurity risks and threats to information systems owned or operated by state, local and territorial (SLT) governments. States must submit applications before 5:00 pm ET on November 15, 2022.

“Cyberattacks have emerged as one of the most significant threats to our homeland,” explained Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “In response, we continue to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity, including by resourcing state and local communities to build and enhance their cyber defenses.”

The proposed Cybersecurity Plan must include details on the state’s existing cybersecurity stand and the plans for the funds to strengthen its cyberdefense: create resilience, have an incident response plan, and a continuous vulnerability assessment. As a first step, the state must form a Planning Committee to identify opportunities and consolidate projects to increase efficiency. In addition, states were given non-negotiable guidelines to adopt the advance toward a zero-trust architecture. Our favorites that we believe will become game-changers: adopting multi-factor authentication, implementing enhanced logging, and data encryption for data at rest and in transit.

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