yberCsecurity concerns are on the rise worldwide. However, the enormous recovery and downtime costs that these cybersecurity attacks leave organizations and agencies in their wake are stressful. In fact, they can be devastating. For example, a 2020 estimate shows that these costs totaled around $19 billion in that same year. Of significant concern is that public sector agencies were especially vulnerable to these attacks and threats. The numbers show that municipal governments accounted for a whopping 45% of the total number of ransomware attacks in the past year.
Preemptive actions are necessary to protect organizations from such threats and attacks. But assessing the presence of potential security threats and aborting them just in time requires the company or agency to have well-laid-out cybersecurity and attack prevention structures in place.
The much-discussed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law in November includes a cybersecurity component that allows public agencies, entities, and organizations to access $1.9 billion worth of spending provisions, both at the state and local government level.
For managed service providers (MSPs), understanding what this bill entails presents an excellent opportunity to pursue public sector entities and assist them in becoming qualified for these funds. Fortunately, there are purpose-built solutions like the Acronis SCS that help MSPs to assist state and local governments in their cybersecurity initiatives in a more planned and structured way.
This article will dive into the benefits of leveraging such solutions. But, before that, we’ll break down the funding provisions that the infrastructure bill has to offer to make public entities more cyber resilient.
Key Cybersecurity Initiatives in the Infrastructure Bill – What MSPs Need to Know
The bill is 2,700-pages long. But, for your benefit, we have singled out the programs aimed at strengthening the cybersecurity capabilities of state and local governments.
The State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Grant
This grant has a provision of $1 billion to be spent over four years as federal cybersecurity assistance. The grant provides at least 80% of the money to local governments. In addition, a portion (25%) of the budget is designated for rural regions.
The Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program
The total worth of this grant is $250 million. It aims to protect critical public infrastructure from cyberattacks. But the state and city authorities must elaborate on how they plan to spend the grant money.
Funding for rural regions provides long-overdue and sorely needed infrastructure improvements, such as power grid upgrades, improved drinking water access, and connections to modernize bridges and roads.
Clean Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program
Worth $75 million, this program will play out over five years. Under its banner, the EPA has to create a competitive grant pilot program and allocate funds to state and local governments to improve the cybersecurity capabilities of the publicly owned treatment works.
Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program
Grants allowed under this program total $50 million per year for five years. The purpose is to make the midsize and large water systems resilient against cybersecurity threats, among other things. CISA, also known as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has been entrusted with the job of preparing a list of public water systems that could prove vulnerable to cyber attacks.
The CISA will then create a plan outlining the voluntary technical and cybersecurity provisions aimed at supporting these public water systems.
The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendment
Under this amendment, it would be the duty of the EPA administrator to provide technical assistance and grants that help them tackle cybersecurity threats and related emergencies.
Department of Energy Funds
The Department of Energy (DOE) is getting an additional $550 million allocation for cybersecurity and emergency response, among other things. Among these funds, $250 million will be earmarked as grants to rural and municipal utilities. Becoming eligible for these funds implies that the receiving entity would have to recreate three DOE programs that include the creation of cybersecurity applications and designing plans to increase energy operations while faced with the threats of cyber-attacks and hazards.
What is the Role of Managed Service Providers?
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) play a crucial role in helping these government organizations navigate the available options to optimize the funding they receive. But even MSPs would require a solution to do their job meaningfully. And that’s where Acronis SCS, a solution purpose-built for the US public sector, plays a vital role.
The FIPS 140-2 certified, HIPAA compliant, and CJIS verified Acronis SCS Cyber Protect Cloud solution helps address the gaps prevailing in the US public sector. These gaps arise out of two factors: the widespread use of legacy IT systems in the US public sector and the lack of network visibility.
Being FIPS 140-2 certified makes its data encryption standards best in class. Being HIPAA compliant offers a foolproof guarantee to its data confidentiality and integrity standards. It is immensely user-friendly, handling all endpoint security and protection management standards from a user-friendly management console. A range of mix and match functionalities and plug and play capabilities make it easy to use. The pricing is flexible and based on a pay-as-you-go model.
MSPs that want to offer US public agencies plans and tools for safe and reliable backup and robust protection from ransomware can leverage Acronis SCS for the best results. The solution is 100% US-based with all its support and data centers located in the US and boasts a staff composed entirely of US citizens.
With our qualified cloud backup & security solution, you’ll avoid delays in compliance and begin earning right away. Acronis SCS Cyber Protect is a fully integrated, comprehensive, and cross-functional mix of cybersecurity and data protection tools that allows you to keep track of all endpoints from a simple console.
The US government plans to spend roughly $1 trillion on cybersecurity over the next ten years, and many local jurisdictions are beginning to realize this. The Infrastructure Bill is ideal for MSPs to target state and local governments.