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Bipartisan Hassan-Portman Hack DHS Act to Strengthen Cyber Defenses at DHS Heads to President’s Desk for Signature

Hassan-Portman Public-Private Cybersecurity Cooperation Act Also On Its Way to President for Signature

WASHINGTON – Two bipartisan bills introduced by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to help strengthen cyber defenses at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are headed to the President’s desk for signature.

The bipartisan Hack DHS Act would establish 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 DHS networks and information technology. Another bill introduced by the two Senators, the Public-Private Cybersecurity Cooperation Act, would complement the Hack DHS Act by requiring DHS to establish a cyber-vulnerabilities disclosure program so that vulnerabilities in DHS’ cyber systems can be easily reported and fixed.

“The Hack DHS Act represents a vital step forward in our efforts to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber defenses,” Senator Hassan said. “I am grateful to Senator Rob Portman for working with me to advance this bipartisan bill to help harness the skills of vetted, ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities in the Department’s systems and help protect the American people. I also want to thank Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Mike McCaul, and Bennie Thompson, as well as Senators Ron Johnson and Claire McCaskill for their help in getting this bill passed, and I look forward to the President signing this important measure without delay.”

“At a time when cyber threats are on the rise, I’m pleased that the United States government will be better prepared to protect itself thanks to this bipartisan cybersecurity legislation I worked on with Senator Hassan. Our legislation draws upon the vast expertise of hackers and security experts in our country to identify vulnerabilities and report them to the people in positions to fix those flaws in our systems. I look forward to the president swiftly enacting this common sense, bipartisan proposal,” Senator Portman said.

Senators Portman and Hassan have worked together on a number of issues to strengthen cybersecurity and prevent attacks that threaten the safety, privacy, and security of Americans. The Senators have also introduced the DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act to help prevent cyberattacks on federal agencies and the private sector. The bill passed favorably out of committee in September. Click here to read a joint op-ed in TIME from Senators Portman and Hassan on their Hack DHS ActClick here to read a joint op-ed in CNN from Senators Portman and Hassan on their DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act and their Hack DHS Act.