The Florida Local Government Cybersecurity Grant Program is a pivotal initiative designed to bolster the cybersecurity infrastructure of Florida’s local governments. Recognizing the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, Governor DeSantis and our state’s Legislators have launched this successful program for a second year in a row to provide essential resources and support.

By focusing on enhancing the cybersecurity capabilities of cities, counties and other local entities, the program aims to protect critical public services and sensitive data from potential cyberattacks. The Florida Digital Service is the administrative arm for managing the grant application and award process. More details can be found on their website here. In addition, the Florida League of Cities (FLC) offers a Cybersecurity Portal for Local Government that can be accessed here.

One of the primary benefits of the grant program is the comprehensive range of cybersecurity solutions it offers. Local governments can receive funding in the form of “managed services” for various critical measures, including business continuity, multi-factor authentication, and the implementation of other advanced security technologies. These solutions are tailored to address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of each local government, ensuring a robust defense against cyber threats. This tailored approach is crucial, as it allows for the development of customized cybersecurity strategies that are both effective and sustainable.

Along with implementing critical cybersecurity services, continuous education and cybersecurity training are always necessary. As mandated by Florida Statutes 282.3185, local government employees must receive yearly cyber awareness training, ensuring that staff will be well-versed in the latest cybersecurity best practices and threat mitigation strategies. This training not only improves the overall cybersecurity posture of local governments but also fosters a culture of vigilance and proactive defense among public sector employees.

Training is a key component in preventing breaches and ensuring a swift response to any potential incidents. Online and in-person cyber education opportunities are available free of charge through services provided by Cyber Florida, which was created by the Florida Legislature in 2014 to help Florida become a national leader in cybersecurity education, research and community engagement.

Overall, the Florida Local Government Cybersecurity Grant Program represents a significant step forward in safeguarding the state’s digital infrastructure. By offering critical support and resources for comprehensive cybersecurity measures, the program empowers local governments to protect their systems and data effectively. As cyber threats continue to evolve, such initiatives are essential in maintaining the integrity and security of public services, ultimately benefiting all residents of Florida.