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MNIT Launches Whole-of-State Cybersecurity Plan to Distribute $23.5 Million in New Funding

The Plan Outlines a New Approach to Strengthen Minnesota Government Defenses Across the State

9/12/2023 8:31:25 AM

Today, Minnesota IT Services (MNIT), in partnership with the Minnesota Cybersecurity Task Force, launched the /mnit/about-mnit/security/whole-of-state-cybersecurity-plan/index.jsp2023 Whole-of-State Cybersecurity Plan to strengthen local government cyber defenses. The whole-of-state approach presents a strong, united front against cybersecurity threats. Additionally, it will be used to distribute $23.5 million of funding from the federal State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) and the Minnesota Legislature. At least 80% of funding will go directly to programming, and 25% is designated for rural areas where resources are fewer. 

"We are living in a time when it’s easier to access information than ever before. This plan continues our efforts to collaborate with governments and schools responsible for keeping Minnesotans’ information secure. As One Minnesota, we must continue to invest and mature our defenses against the threats of the future."

Tarek Tomes, MNIT Commissioner and State of Minnesota Chief Information Officer

The Minnesota Cybersecurity Task Force approved four initial goals in the Whole-of-State Plan. These provide a solid foundation for long-term, sustainable cybersecurity systems that build on results and adjust with the times. MNIT and the task force will reach out to local government entities, school districts, and Tribal Nations to explain the plan in depth and assess their interest in participating in the plan and SLCGP.

The efforts will:   

  • Help local governments, Tribal Nations, and school organizations acquire the tools and resources they need to enhance their existing baseline cybersecurity capabilities. 
  • Expand the use of advanced cybersecurity detection and defensive tools and capabilities.
  • Expand threat intelligence analysis and collaboration throughout Minnesota.
  • Bring security products, services, and resources to critical infrastructure through strategic partnerships.
"Our state’s cybersecurity chain is stronger when we commit to improving cybersecurity and supporting people across jurisdictions – focusing on what everyone needs. All Minnesota governments and school districts are encouraged to participate together in this Whole-of-State Plan so our organizations can protect our neighbors, families, and children."

John Israel, MNIT Assistant Commissioner and State of Minnesota Chief Information Security Officer
"I'm excited by the possibilities this funding will offer to school districts in Minnesota and how it will help protect Minnesota students. As schools experience more cybersecurity incidents, we can't assume that schools can do more with less. The plan is the result of long discussions at the task force about how we can use the new funding to bridge the affordability gap for cybersecurity measures in underfunded schools across the state."

Nicole Pruden, Minnesota Cybersecurity Task Force Education Sector Member, ECMECC Network and Security Administrator

Minnesotans can find more information about the /mnit/about-mnit/security/whole-of-state-cybersecurity-plan/index.jspplan on MNIT’s public site. Eligible entities can learn more by reviewing a /mnit/about-mnit/security/slcgp/index.jspparticipant guide and FAQs or signing up to receive updates.  


About Minnesota IT Services 

Minnesota IT Services, led by the state’s Chief Information Officer, is the Information Technology agency for Minnesota’s executive branch, providing enterprise and local IT services to over 70 agencies, boards, and commissions. MNIT employs more than 2,400 people. Together, we build, maintain, and secure the State’s IT infrastructure, applications, projects, and services. MNIT sets IT strategy, direction, policies, and standards for enterprise IT leadership and planning. We also serve Minnesotans by connecting all 87 counties, 300 cities, and 200 public higher education campuses across the state on the MNET network. Through public-private partnerships, our team proactively protects the state’s information systems and the private data of 5.7 million Minnesotans. 


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