New DHS policies aim to fight cyber ‘epidemic’

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday announced new funding and initiatives to prioritize the nation’s cybersecurity, particularly in order to confront what he described as an “epidemic” of ransomware attacks.

Mayorkas announced during a virtual speech that current cybersecurity grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be increased by $25 million across the nation and that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was evaluating further cyber grants to help the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) assist state and local governments.

The grants were a reflection of the DHS’s effort to prioritize cybersecurity funding, with the agency announcing separately Thursday that cybersecurity topped the list of its “areas for attention” in the current budget cycle.

“The nation’s cybersecurity is only as strong as its weakest link,” Mayorkas said during a keynote address at the President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition.