October 03, 2019

Senator Hassan Leads Congressional Efforts to Address Ransomware Threats

As Highlighted in Recent Politico Piece, Senator Hassan One of Few Lawmakers Focused on the Critical Issue

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, Politico published a piece recently discussing Senator Maggie Hassan's role as one of the few members of Congress pushing for more action on protecting against and mitigating the damage from ransomware and other cyberattacks  including the one that hit Strafford County, NH earlier this year.

The piece addresses the challenges that state and local governments, businesses, and other entities have faced when hit by a cyberattack, and the bipartisan legislation that Senator Hassan has led to support these entities. The Senate recently passed Senator Hassan's bipartisan legislation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act, to bolster cybersecurity in the public and private sector. 

See below for excerpts from the Politico piece, and you ? can read the full piece here?:

[...]Some in Congress want more action. Sen. Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat who frequently asks ransomware questions at hearings of the Homeland Security Committee, said the executive branch could deepen its relationships with state and local governments and remind them about the severe nature of the threat.

“It's really important that we recognize these ransomware attacks are really a growing threat to all levels of government and all sectors, too," Hassan said.

[...]Despite the lack of ransomware-specific legislation, several bills introduced this year could help, experts said. Hassan touted one of her own bills she sponsored with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), S. 2318, that would require DHS to offer to state and local governments the same capabilities that the department uses to protect federal computer networks. Democrats at the House Homeland Security Committee are writing a ransomware-specific bill that could debut soon.


This week, the Senate also passed a version of a bill Hassan co-sponsored, H.R. 1158, that would enshrine into law the DHS cyber incident response teams that assist states and localities responding to cyberattacks.

###