Senators Call on DHS to Address Funding Gap Facing Two Cyber Threat Data Sharing Centers

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, have asked the Department of Homeland Security to address a possible funding shortfall facing the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

The Senate Democrats said in a statement Tuesday the New York-based Center for Internet Security runs both centers. MS-ISAC helps prevent, identify and respond to cyber attacks against critical infrastructure, while EI-ISAC offers cyber defense platforms to election systems professionals to help them counter foreign interference-related threats.

The lawmakers sent a letter to Christopher Krebs, director of DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and a 2019 Wash100 award winner, saying that CIS helps state, local, territorial and tribal entities defend their systems from cyber threats through its two centers.

The senators said they found that the department’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal covers less than 70 percent of the required funding to operate the two ISACs at current levels.

“With the recent surge of ransomware attacks and 2020 elections fast approaching, we cannot afford to curtail support to SLTT entities and election administrators when they need it most,” the senators wrote. “We hope that you will work with us to address this urgent concern and ensure that DHS provides MS-ISAC and EI-ISAC the resources necessary to continue their important mission.”

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