State and local cyber officials rejoice

State and local officials are celebrating the expected distribution of $1 billion in cybersecurity funds from the newly approved infrastructure deal, the biggest government investment in state and local cybersecurity to date.

Long wait: The funds were included in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that is awaiting President Biden’s signature after months of negotiations in Congress and years of advocacy from state and local governments, which have faced chronic shortages of resources to address increasing cyber threats.

“We are elated,” Matt Pincus, director of Government Affairs at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) told The Hill Monday.

“It’s a significant amount of money that has never existed before,” Pincus said. “Our members and other state and local government associations have been clamoring for the need for some sort of cybersecurity-specific funding stream available to local and state governments.”

The breakdown: The funds are set to be allocated over four years, with $200 million made available in 2022, $400 million in 2023, $300 million in 2024, and $100 million in 2025.

The federal funds are set to be rolled out after a difficult few years, during which state and local governments have found themselves increasingly vulnerable to attackers as critical services moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic.