recommended reading

House Approves Stronger Cyber Protections for Critical infrastructure

Wlad74/Shutterstock.com

Two bills to strengthen cybersecurity in the systems that underlie the nation’s energy, water and food supplies passed the House on Monday evening, along with a measure to improve the federal government's cyber workforce.

A bill (H.R. 3696) introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, seeks to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security's ability to protect 16 critical sectors -- including defense, health, energy and food -- by establishing partnerships with the private sector and enhancing programs already in place.  

The legislation would formalize the role of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, which was established in 2009 to help critical-infrastructure sectors share cyber-threat information in real time.

The Congressional Budget Office on Monday said a separate Senate bill to codify the center’s role would not result in significant costs.

Other legislation passed by the House on Monday included a bill (H.R. 2952) introduced by Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., to improve critical-infrastructure security technology and a bill (H.R. 3107) from Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y, to bolster DHS’ cyber workforce.

McCaul, chairman of the House homeland security committee, cited fears that the country is in “a pre-9/11 mindset” regarding cybersecurity.

“A successful cyberattack on our nation’s water systems, oil and gas pipelines, power grids and mass transit systems on the scale of the recent retail breaches could cause crippling economic damage and could even cost lives,” he said, referring to breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus, among others.

“The reality is the threat is outpacing our readiness to combat it,” he said. “This bipartisan bill establishes a true partnership between DHS and the private sector to ensure the distribution of real-time cyber threat information in order to secure our nation in cyberspace without burdensome mandates or regulations.”

It was unclear when the Senate would take up the measures.

(Image via Wlad74/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Spear-phishing

Researchers: Bank-Targeting Malware Sales Rise in Dark Web Markets

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.