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Chairs Thompson and Clarke Release Statement on the Announcement That DHS Will Accelerate Actions to Help State and Local Governments Protect Their Networks

February 22, 2021

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, & Innovation, released the following statement on Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas’ announcement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will increase spending requirements for cybersecurity within its grant programs and evaluate the need for additional actions, including the establishment of new grant programs, to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities in state and local networks.  

“For several years, the Federal government has underestimated the cyber threats posed to state and local networks and neglected the federal government’s responsibility to help defend them. Inaction has proven costly for victims – from Albany to Atlanta. And response to opportunistic breaches take the time away from defending against more sophisticated attacks,” the Chairs wrote.

“Make no mistake, the cybersecurity challenges faced by state and local governments is a national security issue. By making strategic investments in raising the baseline cybersecurity posture of state and local governments, we can help avoid opportunistic attacks against them and free up resources to defend against more sophisticated threats.

“We are encouraged to see Secretary Mayorkas taking the cyber threats to state and local networks seriously and look forward to working with him on this important issue, particularly as we prepare to reintroduce the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978



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