The US Senate, with support from both sides of the aisle, approved on Tuesday a near $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, which included more than $1.9 billion earmarked for cybersecurity programs including securing critical infrastructure against attacks, helping vulnerable organizations defend themselves, among other initiatives.
A significant concern for the Senate appears to have been making sure that adequate cybersecurity exists at every level of government. As explained in a statement released by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), “[a] cyberattack on a state or local government network can put schools, electrical grids, and crucial services in jeopardy.”
In addition to state and local funding, the infrastructure package also allocated $21 million to provide funding for the newly created White House national cyber director office. While the Senate had unanimously confirmed Chris Inglis as the first national cyber director in June, that office still has not received any funding to operate.
The infrastructure bill still requires approval by the House and the timing of a vote in the House is still uncertain.
Nixon Peabody’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Team will continue to monitor developments of the infrastructure package as it comes up for consideration by the House.