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DHS Announces Launch of Permanent Cybersecurity Program Following Success of Pilot Program Created by Senators Hassan and Portman

Senators Hassan & Portman’s Bill to Create a Bug Bounty Pilot Program at DHS Was Signed into Law in 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it was creating a permanent bug bounty cybersecurity program based on the results of the pilot program created by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Rob Portman’s (R-OH) Hack DHS Act that was signed into law in 2018. The HACK DHS Act directed DHS to launch a bug bounty pilot program, which the Department did in 2019, that uses vetted “white-hat” or ethical hackers to help identify unique and undiscovered vulnerabilities in the DHS networks and information technology. In light of the pilot program’s success, the Department has announced a permanent bug bounty program to identify potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities within certain DHS systems and increase the Department’s cybersecurity resilience.
“The Department of Homeland Security is central to the safety and security of Granite Staters and Americans, and it is imperative that their online systems can withstand an attack,” Senator Hassan said. “I am pleased that following the success of our bug bounty pilot program, the Department has decided to make this program a permanent part of its cybersecurity strategy. I will continue to work across the aisle on commonsense ways to strengthen our cybersecurity, and in turn, our national security.”
“At a time when cyber threats are on the rise, I’m pleased that DHS is making permanent the bug bounty program I created with Senator Hassan to ensure our federal government is better prepared to protect itself,” said Senator Portman. “Our bipartisan law ensures that the federal government 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.”
As Chair of the Emerging Threats Subcommittee, Senator Hassan is leading bipartisan efforts to strengthen national security, including by bolstering cybersecurity across all levels of government. The bipartisan infrastructure law includes Senator Hassan’s measure to create a state and local cybersecurity grant program. Furthermore, earlier this year, Senator Hassan successfully helped pass into law her measure to create a Cybersecurity Coordinator in every state to help facilitate information sharing on cyber security best practices and response strategies.