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Gavel to Gavel: Tribal grant program addresses cybersecurity, threats | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


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Clare Gibbons

On Sept. 27, the Department of Homeland Security launched the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program to reduce cybersecurity risks for tribal governments.

The initiative is intended to enhance the cybersecurity resilience of tribal governments by providing funding, technical assistance, and support to address cyber threats and risks. All 574 federally recognized tribal governments are eligible to apply for funding to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and protect critical infrastructure and services. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 10, 2024.

Approximately $18.2 million in funding is available, which will be allocated as follows:

• Tribes with populations of 100,000 or more – of which there are eight – may receive maximum allocations of funding per category of $8,109,709.

• Tribes with populations of 10,000 to 99,999 – of which there are 33 – may receive maximum allocations of funding per category of $5,068,568.

• Those with populations of 1,000 to 9,999 – of which there are 124 – may receive maximum allocations of funding per category of $3,041,141.

• Those with populations of 1 to 999 – of which there are 392 – may receive maximum allocations of funding per category of $2,027,427.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will jointly manage the TCGP, with CISA providing expertise in cybersecurity program development and FEMA administering the awards.

The TCGP has four key objectives:

• Establish cyber governance and planning.

• Assess and evaluate systems and capabilities.

• Implement security measures aligned with risk.

• Build and train a cybersecurity workforce.

Program Objective 1 is mandatory, while objectives 2, 3, and 4 are optional. As part of Program Objective 1, applications must include a CISA-approved Cybersecurity Plan, Cybersecurity Planning Committee List, and Charter. Applicants must be registered in SAM.gov, grants.gov, and submission through the Non-Disaster Grants System.

Key steps in the process from initial registration must be completed by four weeks before Jan. 10, 2024. Starting an application at grants.gov must be accomplished by one week before Jan. 10.

Applications will undergo a three-part review process, including eligibility checks, programmatic scoring, and financial reviews.

Clare Gibbons is of counsel at GableGotwals, where she focuses on corporate transactional matters, including cybersecurity, federal contracting, and commercial and operational contracts.

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