Safeguarding Data: Navigating Cybersecurity Funding

Safeguarding Data: Navigating Cybersecurity Funding

February 29, 2024

Insight in Indian Country Podcast

Trusted Expertise to Serve Tribal Nations

REDW cybersecurity expert Brian Grayek is back to discuss security risks and solutions for Tribal Nations with National Tribal Practice leader and podcast host, Wes Benally.

Recent nationwide efforts for Tribes to access FEMA cybersecurity grant funding were met with challenges during the application process, preventing some Tribes from receiving critical funding. In their discussion, Brian and Wes are highlighting the importance of having a comprehensive cyber plan and detailed project plans when applying for grants. They also discuss the risks of not receiving funding and the need for internal funding to improve security infrastructure. What’s the best way for Tribes to prepare for future cybersecurity grant opportunities that are bound to come? We’re discussing resources available to help Tribes do just that. Tune in!


00:00 Introduction and Background
02:31 Gap in Tribe’s Ability to Apply for Cybersecurity Grants
05:30 Cybersecurity Risks and Costs to Organizations
08:20 Preparing for Future Cybersecurity Grants
12:19 Using Security Scorecards as a Tool
20:18 Conclusion and What to Do Next

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Episode Takeaways

  • Having a comprehensive cyber plan and detailed project plans is crucial when applying for cybersecurity grants.
  • Tribal nations face cybersecurity risks and need to allocate internal funding to improve security infrastructure.
  • Starting early and seeking professional assistance is recommended to prepare for future cybersecurity grants.
  • Using security scorecards can help assess and improve cybersecurity measures.

Meet Your Host

Wesley Benally

Wesley Ryan Benally, CPA

REDW Principal and National Tribal Practice Leader

As the leader of REDW’s National Tribal Practice, Wes is committed to improving financial literacy throughout Indian Country and hosts the Insight in Indian Country Podcast. He oversees audits of a wide range for Native American communities, state and local government agencies, and non-profits, nationwide, is a member of the Arizona State Board of Accountancy’s Peer Review Oversight Advisory Committee and serves as an instructor with Arizona State University’s American Indian Policy Institute. In addition, as a Board member for a tribal gaming entity that operates in two states, Wes keeps up with regulatory issues important to tribal gaming operations. Wes is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

Compensation Studies—Your Key to Hiring & Retaining Top Talent.

It’s important to attract—and retain—the best employees to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your tribal organization. And given an exceptionally competitive labor market and the usual budget constraints, this means basing your employee compensation and benefits programs on relevant and reliable data.

The results are in! Learn more about REDW’s Tribal Compensation Survey Reports for Tribal Governments and Tribal Gaming.

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