Tech groups demand Congress include cybersecurity funding in coronavirus stimulus bill

A number of major tech groups have sent a letter to Congress demanding it includes funding for cybersecurity assistance to state and local governments as part of the next coronavirus stimulus bill, according to The Hill.

The group shared its concerns regarding the increase in ransomware attacks that have taken place over the past year. A number of these attacks have focused on state and local government groups, as hackers locked up systems and demanded ransoms. Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans have already fallen victim to such attacks.

The letter, signed by The Internet Association, BSA, the Software Alliance, CompTIA, the Cyber Threat Alliance, the Cybersecurity Coalition, the Global Cyber Alliance, the Alliance for Digital Innovation and the Information Technology Industry Council was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

In it, the group demanded cybersecurity be made a priority in upcoming congressional funding packages.

This group represents companies such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Adobe, Verizon, McAfee, Palo Alto Networks and many other leading cybersecurity organizations from across the country.

“The rise in malicious cyberattacks targeting State and local entities, combined with the chronic lack of workforce, patchwork legacy systems, under-sourced 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 letter explained.

“The American public is counting on State and local jurisdictions to implement and deliver COVID-19 relief packages approved by Congress,” the letter continued. “Any disruption in the delivery of services would only compound the strain on state and local governments struggling to effectively serve their citizens in the midst of a global pandemic. We cannot let that happen.”

While the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill signed into law by President Trump last month did include some IT-related funding, hackers worldwide have caused additional unrest by targeting unsuspecting users and organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, it’s more important than ever for Congress to make cybersecurity funding available to state and local governments.