Pennycuick, Brown Announce Clearinghouse for Local Government Cybersecurity Resources

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s thousands of local governments can access resources to combat the constant threat of cyberattacks with a new web clearinghouse unveiled by Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24) and Sen. Rosemary M. Brown (R-40).

Creation of the new Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments webpage grew out of a January hearing held by the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by Pennycuick, and the Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Brown, focusing on cybersecurity threats faced by local governments and municipal authorities.

Sixty-nine percent of state and local governments reported being hit by ransomware in 2023, according to a study cited at the hearing.

“Local governments and authorities hold personal information of citizens, oversee drinking water systems, provide emergency services and more. They must be aggressive in thwarting cyberattacks,” Pennycuick said. “We heard from experts in the field and local government officials and want to make sure communities have access to information that can help them prevent attacks and withstand them if they happen.”

“By enhancing awareness and equipping local leaders with the tools and knowledge necessary to mitigate cyber risks, we can better protect communities and ensure the uninterrupted delivery of essential services,” Brown said. “I encourage all local officials to utilize this invaluable resource and to prioritize cybersecurity as a fundamental aspect of their responsibilities. Together, we can strengthen our cyber defenses and safeguard the integrity and resilience of our local governments.”

The webpage covers topics including how local governments can access alerts from the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, conduct cybersecurity assessments, protect emergency communication systems and more.

The page also helps communities access updates from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) regarding funding opportunities. PEMA administers the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program, which distributes federal funding to support cybersecurity efforts.

Among the incidents highlighting the vulnerability of Pennsylvania’s more than 2,500 local governments and authorities were recent cyberattacks targeting the Bucks County emergency dispatch system and the Aliquippa Water Authority.


CONTACTS:  Mackenzie Mueller (Sen. Brown)
                      Matt Szuchyt (Sen. Pennycuick)

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