Capitol Hill at sunset

Industry Groups Push For More Cybersecurity Funding In Future COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation

With high numbers of ransomware attacks and increased threats due to teleworking, advocacy groups want Congress to prioritize cybersecurity funds to local and state governments.

Major technology advocacy groups, including The Cyber Threat Alliance, The Cybersecurity Coalition and The Global Cyber Alliance, have partnered up to push Congress to allocate cybersecurity funding for states and local governments in the next COVID-19 stimulus package.

Representing tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, McAfee and several cybersecurity companies, the organizations sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday requesting that cybersecurity be a priority in future stimulus bills, The Hill reported.

The advocacy groups, which also included BSA, the Information Technology Industry Council and more, cited increased cybersecurity threats as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those threats come from a wider attack landscape with teleworking and increased ransomware attacks on local governments.

“The rise in malicious cyberattacks targeting State and local entities, combined with the chronic lack of workforce, patchwork legacy systems, under-resourced cybersecurity and IT services, and uneven federal assistance creates a greater risk of system failures that interrupts services on which State and local populations depend,” the groups wrote.

Cybersecurity and IT workers themselves are facing several obstacles despite higher demand for their services, including the proliferation of work-from-home policies and the additional vulnerabilities that come with using IoT devices on different wireless networks.

“Their limited resources risk being overwhelmed by the substantial increase in demand for online services, and the sizable increase in malicious cyber activities as reported by both State and local officials, as well as private sector threat intelligence organizations,” the letter reads.

Other issues include the increase in use of “unvetted personal devices” to access government networks and an increase in the costs associated with providing monitoring of those devices along with IT help.

Industry advocates are also concerned that states and local governments will be unprepared to deal with ransomware and other malware attacks on hospital systems, which could cost lives if networks go down and doctors cannot access patient information or coordinate patient care technologically.

Cybersecurity firms have reported higher rates of coronavirus-related phishing attacks on organizations large and small over the past few months, making the potential for a successful cyber attack on public health systems more likely.

“Healthcare facilities like these, which make up nearly 20% of the United States’ community hospitals, have been targeted by malicious cyber attacks at a time when disrupted service is intolerable,” the letter reads.

In turn, the industry organizations would like to see more prioritization of cybersecurity funding in upcoming coronavirus relief legislation. The previous $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill included some funding for IT modernization and $9.1 million for CISA, the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber agency, according to The Hill.

“We urge addressing this important problem in the next available vehicle for COVID-19 response and recovery,” the groups wrote. “We firmly believe that these measures are necessary to support the vital role that State and local entities play in public health operations during this public health emergency.”

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Survey: Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

  • Mobile Applications Are Empowering Security Personnel

    From real-time surveillance and access control management to remote monitoring and communications, a new generation of mobile applications is empowering security personnel to protect people and places. Mobile applications for physical security systems are emerging as indispensable tools to enhance safety. They also offer many features that are reshaping how modern security professionals approach their work. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • A8V MIND

    A8V MIND

    Hexagon’s Geosystems presents a portable version of its Accur8vision detection system. A rugged all-in-one solution, the A8V MIND (Mobile Intrusion Detection) is designed to provide flexible protection of critical outdoor infrastructure and objects. Hexagon’s Accur8vision is a volumetric detection system that employs LiDAR technology to safeguard entire areas. Whenever it detects movement in a specified zone, it automatically differentiates a threat from a nonthreat, and immediately notifies security staff if necessary. Person detection is carried out within a radius of 80 meters from this device. Connected remotely via a portable computer device, it enables remote surveillance and does not depend on security staff patrolling the area. 3

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3

  • AC Nio

    AC Nio

    Aiphone, a leading international manufacturer of intercom, access control, and emergency communication products, has introduced the AC Nio, its access control management software, an important addition to its new line of access control solutions. 3