The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced that it has awarded the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio a $1.2 million grant to launch a pilot program to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments identify high value assets (HVA) in order to prioritize resources and planning.

CISA said the pilot will help these governments establish an HVA that “aligns with the Federal government’s while maintaining the flexibility needed to incorporate their individual needs.”

“CISA is excited to partner with The University of Texas at San Antonio on the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial High Value Asset Program,” said Acting CISA Director Brandon Wales. “As the nation’s risk advisor, the collaboration with our stakeholders to enhance the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure is invaluable. In a time of increased cyber threats, the relationships that we build through cooperative agreements to supply cyber capabilities and expertise are foundational to safeguarding the nations cyber and critical infrastructure.”

The pilot program will run for two years and will focus on developing guidance based on best practices to address the identification, categorization, and prioritization of IT systems to enable increased protection of HVAs across various jurisdictions.

“Communities nationwide are becoming increasingly targeted by cyber threats – both domestic and foreign,” said Associate Director of Training Programs at the CIAS Natalie Sjelin. “It’s more important than ever to help jurisdictions identify, categorize and prioritize their high value assets in order to defend assets that are critical to an organization’s ability to perform its mission.”

To properly identify HVAs among different jurisdictions, CIAS said it is working with CISA to develop scalable guidelines, templates, and tools that can be used to “facilitate implementation of identified processes within the context of each community’s risk management framework, available resources, and authorities.”

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