Have you heard about the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP)? It’s part of the federal government’s broader effort to enhance the cybersecurity capabilities of state and local governments. The nascent “whole of state” approach to cybersecurity that is becoming a key topic in government is being fueled by the program’s $1 Billion/4-years of “free money” from the Federal government.

The funds are incentivizing states to provide cybersecurity services to local governments rather than the usual method (passing-through cash). At present, at least thirty states are providing cybersecurity services to local and Tribal governments with more states expected to announce the rollout of whole of state cybersecurity.

As you consider how to leverage SLCGP grants for a whole of state approach, there are five things I suggest Cisco account managers and partners should be aware of.

1. Understanding SLCGP funding

Cisco customers, account managers, and partners should be familiar with how the SLCGP allocates funding to states and how states distribute funds or services to local governments. The “whole of state” approach aims to ensure that cybersecurity funding is not just allocated to states for state use; instead, at least 80% of funds must benefit local governments and rural communities. Local government cost-share or matching funds begin at 10% in year one and rises to 40% in year four. SLCGP funds must supplement existing cybersecurity expenditures and may never supplant or replace approved and budgeted expenditures.

2. States select the vendors and cybersecurity services provided to local governments

Cisco account managers and partners should communicate to state customers why Cisco products and services ought to be available to local and rural governments. If a state creates a list of SLCGP-funded products and services for local governments, Cisco customers benefit most if Cisco products and services are on the list. States are not publishing the names of local governments awarded subgrants, nor details of cybersecurity services provided to named local governments.

3. Customer Cybersecurity Planning and Strategy

Development of comprehensive cybersecurity plans that include risk assessments, resource allocation, and incident response strategies is an eligible expense for state and local governments. Cisco account managers and partners should be prepared to contribute to these plans by offering their expertise in cybersecurity and by understanding the specific needs and challenges faced by their public sector clients.

4. Compliance and Best Practices

Recipients of SLCGP funds will be required to adhere to specified cybersecurity best practices and standards. Cisco account managers and partners need to be well-versed in these requirements, which may include frameworks like NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), to ensure that the solutions they are offering are compliant and can be funded by the grant.

5. Educational and Workforce Development

A portion of the grants may be allocated to cybersecurity education of the customer’s workforce. Cisco account managers and partners should be aware of Cisco’s own training and certification programs, such as the Cisco Networking Academy, which can be integrated into broader educational initiatives.

whole of state funding Cisco

As you research funding for whole of state and other needs, it’s also important to stay updated on the latest announcements by state governments of state grant programs, competitive subgrants, and application deadlines. For the most current information, Cisco account managers and partners should reach out to your Cisco Public Funding Advisor. They’ll be glad to help answer any questions you may have about whole of state or other funding opportunities.


Additional resources for whole of state and public funding


Mitch Gorsen

Public Funding Advisor, Business Development Manager

US Public Sector Sales