February 11, 2020

Following Advocacy from Senators Hassan, Schumer, and Peters, Critical Cybersecurity Information-Sharing Program Will Be Fully Funded

At Senate Homeland Security Committee Hearing Today, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Confirms to Senator Hassan that the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center Will Be Fully Funded

To watch Senator Hassan’s questioning to Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, click here.

WASHINGTON – The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) program—which ensures that the federal government communicates information on cyber threats and best practices to state and local entities—will be fully funded, as will the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) program, Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, confirmed to Senator Maggie Hassan at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing today.

 

Senator Hassan’s question to Krebs followed up on a letter she sent to him, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Gary Peters. The Senators sent the letter after New Hampshire Information Technology Commissioner Denis Goulet raised concerns with Senator Hassan that the Department of Homeland Security proposed a contract that would effectively reduce MS-ISAC funding from $15 million to $10.4 million at the same time that the Department was asking for the contract to include the EI-ISAC program.

 

Responding to Senator Hassan’s question about funding for these critical cybersecurity programs, Krebs confirmed that the funding issue she raised in the letter will be addressed, saying, “They are fully funded, I think in the FY20 budget we’re talking about a base of $11.5 million with an additional 10 on top…The MS-ISAC is, as you’ve heard, one of our key mechanisms for broadly engaging state and locals.”

 

At the hearing today, Senator Hassan also discussed cyberattacks in New Hampshire, reiterating the importance of the Department of Homeland Security working with state and local partners to prevent and respond to cybersecurity threats. “New Hampshire entities have experienced ransomware attacks – last year Strafford County and Sunapee School District were targets of malicious hackers,” said Senator Hassan. Senator Hassan pointed to the importance of the bipartisan bill that she introduced with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Gary Peters (D-MI) to establish a Cybersecurity State Coordinator program. Each state would have its own federally funded Cybersecurity Coordinator, who would be responsible for helping to prevent and respond to cybersecurity threats by working with federal, state, and local governments as well as schools, hospitals, and other entities.

 

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