July 30, 2019

Senator Hassan Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Local, State, and National Cyber Defenses

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today introduced the bipartisan Advancing Cybersecurity Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation Act, which would update and improve federal agencies’ cybersecurity, and make additional cyber defense resources available to state and local governments.

Senators Hassan and Cornyn first introduced the bill last Congressional session. This year’s bill also requires the Department of Homeland Security to make resources available to state and local governments to further guard against cyber-attacks. The bill would help entities like Strafford County, which experienced a cyber-attack on their computer networks, strengthen their cyber defenses. Earlier this month, Senator Hassan was briefed by Strafford County officials on their cyber-attack.

“As we saw just recently in Strafford County, New Hampshire, cyberattacks pose a real and growing threat to everything from local nursing homes to our national security,” said Senator Hassan. “These threats are constantly evolving, and I’m glad to join Senator Cornyn in reintroducing this bipartisan bill, which not only requires the Department of Homeland Security to monitor and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities as they arise, but also ensures that these resources are available to state and local governments in New Hampshire and across the country.”

“Cyber-attacks on government networks are increasing in frequency and sophistication, so updating the programs and tools federal agencies use to thwart these attempts is critical,” Senator Cornyn said. “By codifying the CDM program and providing congressional oversight, we can ensure the federal government is better prepared for cyber threats."

The bipartisan bill introduced today would enact into law the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which is run through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and is meant to provide a suite of cyber capabilities to provide real-time, continuous monitoring of the networks of federal agencies. Specifically, the bipartisan bill would:

·         Codify the work of the CDM program to date;

·         Require the Secretary to make CDM capabilities available, at the federal, state, and local level;

·         Establish policies for reporting cyber risks and incidents based upon data collected under CDM;

·         Direct the Secretary to deploy new CDM technologies to continuously evolve the program;

·         Mandate that DHS develop a strategy to ensure the program continues to adjust to the cyber threat landscape.

Senator Hassan is a leader on efforts to bolster cybersecurity at all levels of government. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Hassan and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to bolster cybersecurity by requiring DHS to make permanent the “cyber hunt” and “cyber incident response” teams that work to help prevent cyberattacks on federal agencies and the private sector, and help mitigate the impact of such attacks when they occur.

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