WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, voted to advance bipartisan bills today to help strengthen cybersecurity across the federal government and improve public-private coordination.
“We advanced two bills today that will help improve our country’s cybersecurity and give the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency the information it needs to help prevent cyberattacks,” said Senator Hassan. “I will keep working on a bipartisan basis on the Homeland Security Committee to enhance our ability to detect, mitigate, and thwart cyberattacks so we can keep the United States safe, secure, and free.”
The bipartisan Cyber Incident Reporting Act of 2021 would require certain public and private entities to report to the federal government when those entities make ransomware payments or experience significant cyber incidents. The bill would help improve the federal government’s ability to track cybersecurity incidents and provide the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) with the information to help prevent future attacks against businesses, governments, and other entities.
The bipartisan Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2021 would update the federal government’s cybersecurity practices to help better secure their networks, including by strengthening CISA’s oversight role in implementing cybersecurity measures across the federal government. It would also put in place critical accountability measures if a cyberattack does occur, such as letting the public know if their information was compromised in an attack.
Senator Hassan is leading efforts to strengthen cybersecurity across all levels of government. Senator Hassan’s bill, The State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, creates a state and local cybersecurity grant program and recently passed the Senate as part of the bipartisan infrastructure package. The bill authorizes a new grant program at the Department of Homeland Security dedicated to improving cybersecurity for state, local, tribal, and territorial entities. The latest National Defense Authorization Act, which is now law, included a bipartisan amendment that Senator Hassan introduced to create a cybersecurity state coordinator in each state. Furthermore, in an effort to bolster cybersecurity within the federal government, Senators Hassan and Rob Portman (R-OH) passed into law the bipartisan Hack DHS Act, which establishes a bug bounty pilot program – modeled off of similar programs at the Department of Defense and major tech companies – that uses vetted “white-hat” or ethical hackers to help identify unique and undiscovered vulnerabilities in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) networks and information technology.