Infrastructure bill includes $1.9 billion for cybersecurity

Passage of the infrastructure bill includes $1.9 billion for cybersecurity, and more could be on the way with the Build Back Better and other bills working their way through Congress.

On Friday, Congress passed one of President Biden’s signature pieces of legislation, the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This landmark bill promises not only massive upgrades to the nation’s aging infrastructure but also boosts government cybersecurity spending by $1.9 billion.

Among its provisions is a new $1 billion grant program to help state, local, tribal and territorial governments protect themselves from malicious actors and modernize systems to protect sensitive data, information, and public critical infrastructure. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which runs the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) existing grant programs, will provide the funds over four years starting in fiscal year 2022, with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) serving as a subject matter expert.

The bill also incorporates the Cyber Response and Recovery Act of 2021, which authorizes $100 million over five years to help the government quickly respond to cybersecurity intrusions. Another notable provision is $21 million in funding for the newly created office of the National Cyber Director (NCD) to hire qualified personnel to support its essential cybersecurity mission. The bill further requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CISA to identify public water systems that, if degraded or rendered inoperable due to a cyber-attack, would lead to significant impacts on the health and safety of the public.

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