Featured News Item 2

Cyber Florida Launches Statewide Cybersecurity Risk Assessment for Critical Infrastructure

Oct. 21, 2022—Tampa, Fla– The Florida Center for Cybersecurity (Cyber Florida) at the University of South Florida and Florida Digital Service are working together to launch the state’s first statewide assessment of both public and private critical infrastructure cybersecurity pursuant to House Bill 5001, Appropriation 2944B. The appropriation provides $7 million in funding to Cyber Florida to “conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of the state’s critical infrastructure and provide recommendations to support actionable solutions for improvement of the state’s preparedness and resilience to significant cybersecurity incidents.”

The assessment is part of a significant investment by the Florida Legislature to enhance the state’s cyber resiliency, dubbed “CyberSecureFlorida.” The initiative also includes a $30-million statewide cybersecurity awareness and upskilling training program for public sector employees and establishing a cyber range to help public cybersecurity and information technology professionals learn to detect, prevent, and mitigate cyberattacks. Law enforcement personnel will also be able to use the cyber range to learn digital forensics and evidence-gathering techniques.

“Florida lawmakers have made an unprecedented investment in the state’s cyber resiliency,” said General (Ret.) Frank McKenzie, Executive Director of Cyber Florida. He continued, “This risk assessment will enable Cyber Florida to start building a statewide community of cybersecurity leaders and practitioners centered on Florida’s collective cyber resiliency.”

The assessment consists of an online survey of roughly 150 questions using the Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET) created by the Idaho National Laboratory and the Department of Homeland Security. Cyber Florida is leveraging Idaho National Laboratory’s critical infrastructure cybersecurity expertise through a Strategic Partnership Project (SPP). Florida is the first state in the nation to conduct a statewide survey using CSET.

The CSET link will open on Oct. 20, 2022, at cybersecureflorida.org. Participation is voluntary, and Cyber Florida is encouraging all critical infrastructure organizations in the state, both public and private, to participate. Participants will receive a custom risk assessment report for their organization, which they can use to apply for potential grant funding. All data will be kept confidential and housed on secure servers at Cyber Florida’s host institution, the University of South Florida.

The data will be compiled and reviewed by researchers at MITRE working with Cyber Florida to create a report for the Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis. The report will outline the aggregate, anonymized findings and recommend potential legislation and funding initiatives to enhance and fortify the state’s critical infrastructure cybersecurity posture.

To learn more about the assessment, please visit cyberflorida.org/cybersecureflorida/.


The Florida Center for Cybersecurity, also known as Cyber Florida, was established by the Florida Legislature in 2014 to help position Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity through education, research, and outreach. Hosted by the University of South Florida, Cyber Florida leads an array of initiatives to inspire and educate future and current professionals, support industry-advancing research, and help people and organizations better understand cyber threats and what they can do to stay safer in cyberspace.


2023-04-05T17:27:39-04:00October 21, 2022|

Cyber/IT Pathways Grant Call for Applications Now Open

The Florida Center for Cyber Security (Cyber Florida) is pleased to announce that the Call for Applications for the $20-million Cybersecurity and Information Technology Pathways Grant Program (Cyber/IT Pathways) is now open and available for download at cyberflorida.org/pathways. Funded by the Florida Department of Education, Cyber Florida has been selected to serve as the program office for the Cyber/IT Pathways program, which aims to expand access to and the capacity of cybersecurity and information technology education programs across Florida’s public education entities.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the funding at a press conference in Tampa on March 2, saying, “Expanding Florida’s commitment to creating opportunities in cybersecurity and IT is a top priority to keep our communities safe and our state secure. This funding will not only create opportunities for Floridians seeking jobs in this important field but will also improve our national defense, protect Floridians and their businesses, and maintain the integrity of our elections. By doubling available opportunities in this field, Florida continues to lead.”

The program will be administered through three regional coordinators, with approximately one-third of the funding serving the Greater Tampa Bay Area, coordinated by the University of South Florida; one-third serving the Greater Miami Area, coordinated by Florida International University; and one-third serving at-large projects around the state, coordinated by a third State University System institution to be named.

Any Florida public education entity, including public school districts; post-secondary technical career centers and charter technical career centers; Florida College System (FCS) institutions; and State University System (SUS) institutions (defined further under Florida statutes §1001.30, §1001.44, §1002.34, §1000.21(3), and §1000.21(6)) may apply for funding under this program.

The types of programs that will be considered for funding include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Elementary, middle, high school, college, and working adult student courses and curricula
  • Secondary continuing technical education (CTE) courses/programs
  • Non-credit training that includes preparation for industry certifications
  • Registered pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs
  • Training programs for existing workers and ‘upskilling’ for those in other industries
  • Career/advanced technical certificates and applied technology degrees
  • Teacher education and professional development

Please visit cyberflorida.org/pathways to learn more and download the Call for Applications.

2023-04-05T17:29:10-04:00March 9, 2022|