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Alejandro Mayorkas: DHS to Increase Minimum Cyber Spending to 7.5% Via FEMA Grant Awards

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Alejandro Mayorkas
Alejandro Mayorkas Secretary DHS

Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, said DHS will raise the required minimum cybersecurity spending through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant awards from 5 percent to 7.5 percent, reflecting a $25 million increase across the country.

Mayorkas announced the move on Thursday during the final round of the second annual President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition, DHS said Thursday.

He said DHS has started to assess and implement additional capabilities, including potential new grant initiatives, through the department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in support of state and local government agencies' cyber efforts.

Mayorkas mentioned during the event the department’s efforts to address ransomware and build a “more diverse, equitable, and inclusive cybersecurity workforce.” He said DHS also plans to announce a series of “cybersecurity sprints” to advance action in key priority areas.

“To start, we will be developing an initial set of sprints dedicated to combatting ransomware, building a deep and diverse cyber workforce, and urgently improving the security of our nation’s industrial control systems,” he noted.