Florida yet to spend $30m Cybersecurity fund

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Despite a fund allocation of $30m, the law-makers in Florida have failed to spend the amount because of various reasons.

Digging deep into the matter, in February this year, Florida Lawmakers were assigned a task of updating their software and hardware related to the state’s critical infrastructure that could help in easily thwarting the cyber attacks lurking in the current digital space.

Jamie Grant, the CIO of Florida has now released an official statement that the project to bolster the IT infrastructure was terribly hit in developmental stage as his office was facing staff crunch as almost-all in the senior management, left the office making it tough for the CIO to take decisions on his own.

Grant added that two of his most experienced, Chief Information Security Officers, chief data officers, the enterprise architect, the chief operations officer, and some of the valuable members of his Cybersecurity team put down their papers in July this year and left the office for reasons best known to them.

As a result, training, threat assessment procedure, infrastructure bolstering have been kept on hold even after 7 months after of his office receiving funds and that too after experiencing an awful cyber experience in 2020 when the state licensing agency witnessed a downtime because of a digital attack and after the personal info of over 58,000 unemployed applicants was stolen in an incident.

Soon after, the law-makers appointed a technical cybersecurity force to access the situation and take measures to thwart such attacks. Thereafter, an appointed committee recommended for a $30m grant to train the staff, open up a Cybersecurity operations center and to develop an incident tracking tool.

In February 2021, the funding was granted, but never spent as the department was facing staff crunch and so the decision to spend the money was halted.

Requesting anonymity, an official who works in Grant’s office disclosed that the CIO is waiting for a committee to come up with a plan on how and where to spend the funds.

And based on the inputs from the committee, the CIO will then distribute the money to meet the objectives by this year’s end or by early 2022.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security