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Senators Hassan, Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Local, State, and National Cyber Defenses

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


The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which is run through the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is meant to provide a suite of cyber capabilities to provide real-time, continuous monitoring of the networks of federal agencies. The Senators’ bill would make the program permanent and establish a pilot program to extend the program’s capabilities to help state and local governments strengthen their cybersecurity.

“Cyberattacks pose a grave threat to our national security and our economy,” Senator Hassan said. “Our bipartisan bill will help the federal government stay on top of emerging cyber threats, as well as provide critical resources to state and local governments to help strengthen their defenses. I will keep working with Senator Cornyn to build support for this commonsense, bipartisan bill.”


“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 builds on Senators Hassan and Cornyn’s previous work together to strengthen cybersecurity across all levels of government. For instance, the two teamed up to secure their bipartisan amendment in the most recent annual defense bill to ensure that the National Guard can help state and local governments and businesses improve their cybersecurity. In addition, Senators Hassan and Cornyn worked together to pass into law their measure to create a Cybersecurity Coordinator in every state to help federal, state, and local governments, as well as schools, hospitals, and other entities, coordinate and better protect their systems against cyberattacks. And Senators Hassan and Cornyn helped secure a measure in the bipartisan infrastructure law to create and fund a state and local cybersecurity grant program.


The bipartisan Advancing Cybersecurity Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation Act would:

  • Codify the work of the CDM program to date;
  • Establish a pilot program to make CDM capabilities available at the state and local level;
  • Establish policies for reporting cyber risks and incidents based upon data collected under CDM;
  • Direct the DHS Secretary to deploy new CDM technologies to continuously evolve the program, including for cloud technology;
  • Mandate that DHS develop a strategy to ensure the program continues to adjust to the cyber threat landscape.