Ahead of the game: Nebraska legislators aim for $11M in cyber upgrades

February 13, 2024
1 min read

Nebraska lawmakers are seeking $11 million for cybersecurity upgrades in the state to prevent future cyberattacks. The funds would be used to bolster the state’s network and create new cybersecurity preparedness training. Most of the funds would go to Nebraska’s Office of the Chief Information Officer for software, professional services, and tools to support cybersecurity preparedness. $2 million would be awarded to political subdivisions to upgrade their critical network infrastructure. Another $2 million would be used for software and services provided at no cost to political subdivisions. The remaining $1 million would go towards hands-on defensive cyber training. The effort comes as cyberattacks are increasing in frequency and cost, with a successful ransomware attack occurring every 14 seconds.

Last year, a similar bill for cybersecurity improvements failed to advance from committee by one vote. However, State Sen. Loren Lippincott is optimistic that the current bill will be successful. He noted that over a dozen state agencies, cities, and other groups in Nebraska have been subject to cyberattacks in recent years, highlighting the need for increased cybersecurity measures.

Nebraska Chief Justice Mike Heavican warned that the state must upgrade its court’s protection to avoid falling victim to a cyberattack, citing the example of the Kansas Supreme Court, which was targeted in a sophisticated foreign cyberattack. Lippincott emphasized the importance of investing in cybersecurity infrastructure and software to prevent such threats. The committee has not yet taken action on the bill.

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