February 21, 2023 by Alyssa Walter

How to Apply for State and Local Cyber Grants: FEMA, CISA, PSTA Share Insights

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Industries: 9-1-1 & Law Enforcement

Topics: Cybersecurity

Under the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) issued by the Department of Homeland Security, the federal government will provide $1 billion in grant funding over four years, Fiscal Years (FY) 2022-2025, to help state and local governments strengthen cybersecurity posture through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

To give agencies an inside look into this year’s SLCGP application process, Jay Kaine from the Public Safety Threat Alliance (PSTA) Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) joined grant manager representatives from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during a recent webinar. Presenters shared insights and advice into the grant and application process in a virtual event. Here are a few highlights from the webinar, which is available to watch on-demand now.

Eligibility and Funding Objectives

All 56 United States territories and states are eligible to apply for SLCGP grant funding. Each state or territory’s designated State Administrative Agency (SAA) is the only entity eligible to apply for funding. An SAA may join a multi-entity group (consisting of one or more other SAAs) to work together to address cybersecurity concerns within the multi-entity group’s territories. 

Funding is derived from a risk-based state/territory baseline allocation plus an additional population based allotment. The SAA must pass through 80 percent of awarded funding to local entities, and 25 percent of total state/territory allocation must go to rural communities. 

The anticipated release date for FY23 notification of funding is mid-2023, with an application process expected to be similar to FY22. The only eligible applicants to apply are SAAs and any agencies interested in a sub-grant should contact their respective SAA office.

In the first year of grant funding, the focus is on establishing a strong foundation on which to build a secure cybersecurity program. Initial priorities include:

Additional Cyber Grant Resources

Motorola Solutions provides services to help your agency strengthen its cybersecurity posture, aligning with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Framework and guidelines outlined as part of the SLCGP. These expert-led services and solutions include:

  • Advisory Services: Identify vulnerabilities and develop a strong cybersecurity strategy with risk assessments, penetration testing, incident response planning and tabletop exercises. 
  • Managed Security Services: Protect your endpoints, network, cloud and mission-critical systems. As a managed security services provider (MSSP), we provide cost-effective solutions and expert assistance.
  • Cybersecurity Training: Combat potential attacks with cybersecurity training. Our program ensures your workforce has the right skills and expertise to address any incident.
  • Security Patching: Reduce your cybersecurity risk with patching. Our security patching includes pre-testing, validation and anti-malware software updates aligned with industry standards. 

The grant application process can be challenging to navigate. To help you, Motorola Solutions has partnered with the grants team at GovGrantsHelp.com. Their grant funding experts can help your agency identify which grants you are eligible for and offer additional insights on how to write an effective application. More information and resources can be found on our website.

Join the Public Safety Threat Alliance

The Public Safety Threat Alliance is a cyber threat intelligence sharing, collaboration and information hub for the evolving cyber security challenges faced by the global public safety community. By collaborating with trusted partners, the PSTA provides actionable threat intelligence and proactive defense solutions for public safety cyber threats, reducing the cybersecurity burden on agencies. 

As of January 2023, the PSTA became a member of the CISA Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), a leader of the nation’s cyber defense plans. Membership in the PSTA is open to all public safety agencies, and there is no cost to join for public sector organizations- interested agencies are encouraged to join now.

Summary

With cyber threats on the rise and growing in complexity, it’s important now more than ever to ensure that you’re investing in your security and protecting your information, employees and systems. As a public safety agency, it’s crucial to have a plan in place in the event of a cyber attack to ensure minimal downtime and keep your community safe.

The State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program offers $1 billion in funding over the next four years to help agencies address cybersecurity concerns and threats to information systems. To learn more about the SLCGP from grant managers FEMA and CISA, we invite you to watch the on-demand webinar now.

Contact us to find out more about our solutions and services.

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