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Cybersecurity: Assistance for Local Governments?

Help may be on the way to assist local governments in their ongoing battle against hacking and other cybercrimes, thanks to two bipartisan initiatives on Capitol Hill.

Legislative Activity

The State and Local Cyber Protection Act of 2017 (S.412) would make training from the Department of Homeland Security accessible on request to help local, state, and tribal governments prevent and respond to cyber threats.

The bill, recently reintroduced by Senators Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and David Perdue (R-Georgia), was first introduced in the last Congress, but it didn’t move forward. The National Association of Counties has urged its members to support it.

In another legislative initiative, two senators and two representatives representing both parties introduced the State Cyber Resiliency Act, which would fund grants administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist cities and states in cybersecurity planning and implementation.

Reports of data breaches are becoming almost commonplace—a troubling fact at a time when governments, businesses, and residents increasingly rely on networked and cloud-based systems to conduct their day-to-day business. And much of the country’s critical infrastructure—power grids, transportation networks, water distribution systems—depends on computerized systems.

A report in The Hill notes that the nation’s attention has turned to cyber vulnerabilities with the reports of Russian cyberattacks and concerns about the integrity of voting systems and voter records during the 2016 political campaign and election.

ICMA Resources

While these initiatives work their way through the legislative process, you can turn to ICMA’s Cybersecurity topic page to find articles, documents, and other resources to help you protect your organization from cybercrime. Here are some examples:


Mark Ryckman

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center provide training funded by FEMA on Cybersecurity. There is no cost for the classes which are offered in class and online.

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