Chris Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, highlighted shifts to cloud-based services and multifactor identification as areas where federal funds could be used to improve state and local cybersecurity. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
On the heels of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, Chris Krebs, former head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, suggested Wednesday that it was “well past time” for a large, federal grant program to improve state and local cybersecurity.
“I really think that it is well past time for a 21st-century ‘digital infrastructure investment act,’ where we provide the equivalent of block grants to state and local [government] where they can modernize their IT infrastructure,” he said, answering a question on ransomware at a Center for Strategic and International Studies panel on the role of the Department of Homeland Security in cybersecurity.
“That’ll improve citizen services,” he continued. “That’ll boost American tech companies. That will provide more high-paying, tech jobs to more Americans. And, yes, it will help stop ransomware.”
Krebs highlighted shifts to cloud-based services and multifactor identification as avenues that such a plan could tap to improve state and local cybersecurity.
Krebs is best known for heading CISA’s widely praised efforts to secure the 2020 election and his firing by then-President Donald Trump for not confirming unsubstantiated theories that the presidential election was fraudulent. But he also oversaw CISA and its predecessor division of the DHS, the National Protection and Programs Directorate, during the rise of ransomware targeting state and local targets.