President Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better infrastructure bill, which passed the House last week includes, $500 million designated for cybersecurity and IT modernization. While most of that funding would be directed at securing federal civilian systems, there is money set aside to address state and local cyber needs.
Right off the top the measure allocates $100 million for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) to upgrade federal information systems and $100 million to improve cybersecurity awareness. Total CISA funding includes:$100 million for improving federal information systems. $100 million to increase cyber awareness. $50 million for the industrial control system (ICS) Cyber Sentry program, which monitors the critical infrastructure networks for threats. $50 million to secure cloud architecture. $50 million for research operation technology and ICS. $35 million for a Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. $15 million for a cyber upskilling and training program.
The bill also provides $80 million for Department of Homeland Security grants to assist state and local governments with cybersecurity recruitment and training. Those awards would be administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with CISA filling an advisory role.
An earlier version of the bill set aside $400 million for CISA to implement President Biden’s executive order issued last May.
“[The bill] invests in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to help State and local governments develop secure and resilient critical infrastructure networks by, among other things, accelerating State and local governments’ transition to the .gov domain and increasing capacity to hire network defenders,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS).
Other technology funding includes:$500 million to the FTC to create a data security bureau. $300 million for the Emergency Connectivity Fund. $295 million for an NTIA private/public pilot program to increase affordable broadband. $100 million to the FCC for broadband affordability outreach. $25 million for NIST for security research activities. $20 million for the NTIA to administer grants related to the Next Generation 911 program. $7 million to create a council to research the future of 6G telecommunications.
The package still faces substantial headwinds from Republicans in the Senate who fully oppose it before making its way to Biden’s desk to be signed into law.