SANTA FE — Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico is set to receive nearly $13 million in federal funding over the next four years for Cybersecurity enhancements to better protect networks from outside attacks and bolster the protection of Personally Identifiable Information.
In September 2022, through an executive order the Governor established a Cybersecurity Planning Committee. The committee represents cyber and IT leaders from the Department of Information Technology (DoIT), the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), local school districts, counties, municipalities, judicial and legislative representatives. The committee’s primary objective is to develop a statewide cybersecurity plan.
“The state faces increasingly sophisticated cyber campaigns that threaten our security and our privacy, and we are acting quickly to protect New Mexicans with a robust cyber security infrastructure,” said Governor Lujan Grisham.
In support of the executive order and as part of the governor’s focus on statewide cybersecurity efforts, the planning committee submitted its application for the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP). On January 10, New Mexico learned it received the first of a multi-year federal grant award for $2,540,403 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a state match of $282,267 for a project total of $2,822,670. Over the next four years the state will receive additional funding totaling nearly $13 million.
“Cyber threats such as ransomware and identity theft threaten our privacy, wallets, infrastructure, and even our national security,” said Department of Information Technology Cabinet Secretary Peter Mantos. “We welcome federal help in addressing these issues through such grants and plan to provide help statewide.”
This is the first time New Mexico will take a holistic approach to cybersecurity to protect, the state’s infrastructure and its political subdivisions from malicious attacks. The funding will help us focus on establishing safeguards for schools, municipalities, and counties.
“This is a great opportunity for the state to leverage federal funding to improve our cyber posture across the state in cybersecurity,” said Raja Sambandam Chief Information Security Officer. “I am very excited for this funding, and I am looking forward to working with our federal and state partners to create a holistic statewide cybersecurity program to enhance local and educational cyber structures.”
“The cyber threat environment is constantly evolving,” maintains Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Cabinet Secretary David Dye. “Cooperation and robust information sharing among federal, state, local, tribal, and critical infrastructure partners is key to preventing and responding to cyber-attacks.”
The initial $2.8 million will be leveraged to stand up a holistic cybersecurity program to meet the mandatory requirements for the statewide cybersecurity plan. The primary objectives of the program would be to establish appropriate risk-based processes, services and make them available to various stakeholders to address cyber risk on how to identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover our information technology eco-systems.
The planning committee meets regularly. At present, the committee is working on how to evaluate and identify gaps that can be mitigated utilizing the federal grant. For more information on the committee, visit www.doit.nm.gov.
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