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Cybersecurity Grant Program offering local governments chance to fund online defenses

Posted at 10:41 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 22:51:12-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Improved cyber security efforts are coming to the State of Florida.

The announcement was made earlier today by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez at Cape Coral Fire Station 2. It's coming through a state-funded program, the Cybersecurity Grant Program.

A grant that may help local authorities save lives.

"Working together to keep our citizens safe, to keep our data safe, and to continue addressing these ever-growing cyber criminals and cyber attacks,” said Nunez.

The Lieutenant Governor described a brand new cybersecurity program launched by the state.

"We're eager to empower local governments to be able to protect— like I said— their citizens, their data, and making sure we're all collaborating.”

It's called the Cybersecurity Grant Program, having officially launched just last week. A $30 million program that is helping fund online defenses for local governments throughout the state.

"For those local governments that apply, the grant program will help our county and local partners to be able to identify their needs and use these funds in an important area of cyber security.”

Offering security where it matters most and preventing threats. Potential threats, as Cape Coral Fire Chief Ryan Lamb says, could affect lives.

“Ultimately, it affects our ability to respond to somebody having a heart attack or cardiac arrest," said Ryan Lamb, Fire Chief for the City of Cape Coral. "It could affect our ability to save lives.”

With the program, the Lieutenant Governor says the state will bolster its collaboration with local officials. Marking the first time multiple agencies throughout the state will be working together when it comes to cyber security.

“More than 35 state agencies are actively collaborating today without having to give up their privacy or access to their data and it's that proof that we're offering to expand throughout the state and we're excited to do it,” said Jamie Grant, Chief Information Officer for the State of Florida.

The excitement is also reaching the local level to better improve response times.

"It'll be something that we can work together as a system with other fire departments, with other cities to know if somebody is getting attacked and how that's happening," said Lamb. "So we can work together to strengthen our system so that those bad actors don't take advantage of our residents.”

The application window for the grant will remain open thru March 31. Local governments will be able to apply online right here.