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Apply for the Cybersecurity Awareness Program

Please review the program eligibility details and application instructions below.

Nikolas Gonzales, Data Analyst

The Details of Apply for the Cybersecurity Awareness Program

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The 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications at this time.

The 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program is a competitive grant program that will help local government to improve overall cybersecurity posture through end-user training, evaluation and threat simulation. The program, including procurement and coordination, will be managed by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 12, 2021.

How to apply Apply for the Cybersecurity Awareness Program

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Eligibility

The Cybersecurity Grant Program is open to municipalities and public school districts. Awards can be made available for employees in all municipal functions that have a government issued email address, including municipal administration, school and public safety officials. Unfortunately, communities that do not have government issued email addresses are unable to participate.

Participating communities must demonstrate leadership buy-in, and commit to making staff available to successfully complete the program and be willing to collaborate.

More info for Apply for the Cybersecurity Awareness Program

The 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program is a one-year competitive grant program to support local government efforts to improve overall cybersecurity posture though comprehensive online end-user training, evaluation, and threat simulation. It is anticipated that this program will provide training for at least 60,000 local officials with awards being announced in early March 2021 and end-user training beginning in late March.

By participating in the 2021Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program, a community agrees to implement policies and/or programs to improve their overall security posture by addressing training and assessment needs for all full-time employees that could introduce potential risk to municipal government.

Awarded communities will receive licenses for end user training, assessment, and phishing simulation, procured and managed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Technology Services and Security.

Communities participating in the 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program will commit to implement a security awareness training solution to ensure that municipal staff are aware of end-user cyber threats that may exist and understand related gaps in their cybersecurity posture that should be addressed.

Buy-in from the Chief Executive in the community must be demonstrated and participating communities must identify an individual who will coordinate local staff, work with the Commonwealth and coordinate interaction with a local IT resource (if and when needed), for the duration of the program. While it may be beneficial, the local coordination role does not require technical expertise.

The community must commit to ongoing efforts to educate employees throughout the life of the program, including ongoing simulation activities, and targeted remediation based on the outcomes of simulation activities. It also must be willing to share statistics from the program with the Office of Municipal and School Technology, which will support efforts to better understand the cybersecurity posture of local government across the Commonwealth. 

Review Process

After the application period closes on Feb. 12, staff at the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security will review applications based on factors such as: 

  • A commitment to prioritizing cybersecurity awareness
  • Commitment to improving the community's cybersecurity posture
  • A willingness to collaborate and help gain a better understanding of cybersecurity posture in communities across the Commonwealth
  • Willingness to identify an individual who will oversee and monitor program participation
  • Past participation completion rates from the Commonwealth’s 2019/2020 Cybersecurity Awareness Program (if applicable)

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