In the letter, the group stated, “COVID-19 has upended every aspect of American life, including significantly increasing the need to maintain and secure state and local networks, clouds and end points. These systems provide critical services, particularly as residents increasingly telework, access state resources online, and depend on state and locally-owned and operated critical infrastructure including hospitals. State and local entities, however, have long lacked the resources to adequately secure and maintain their digital infrastructure.”
The group highlighted some of the key threats due to the social distancing, need for employees and services to become internet based and the increasing demands on our healthcare delivery. These include increased use of unvetted personal devices, increased use of cloud services and applications not properly secured, an increase in the use of unsecured networks and increased difficulty for information technology departments to ensure proper security updates and patches are implemented.
The group also stated, “The rise in malicious cyberattacks targeting state and local entities, combined with the chronic lack of workforce, patchwork legacy systems, under-resourced cybersecurity and IT services, and uneven federal assistance creates a greater risk of system failure that interrupts services on which state and local populations depend.”
The group praised Representatives Bennie Thompson, Cedric Richmond, Derek Kilmer and Dutch Ruppersberger for their leadership on this issue. A link to the letter sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy can be found here.