Senate Approves Legislation Dedicated To Assisting Governments, Private Sector With Cyber Attacks

Senate Approves Legislation Dedicated To Assisting Governments, Private Sector With Cyber Attacks

The chamber also approved funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber arm, with $1 billion dedicated solely to cybersecurity.

In the wake of growing ransomware attacks on small businesses and local governments, the Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that could improve the federal government’s ability to respond and assist organizations in the public and private sectors with cyber attacks.

The bill, called the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act, requires the Department of Homeland Security to create and maintain groups that can be deployed to help companies and governments if they are attacked. In addition, the “teams” could help identify vulnerabilities that allow cyber attacks to take place, The Hill reported.

Fighting ransomware attacks has become a bipartisan issue, with the Democrat-controlled House already passing a similar bill in June. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has pointed to the legislation as a way for the federal government to assist small organizations that have increasingly been the targets of ransomware attacks, which demand payment in return for access to computer systems.

Schumer said his own state has been “under siege” from ransomware, likely in reference to attacks that have forced school districts to cancel days of school in order to get their systems in order.

“That’s why ... I’m pushing a two-pronged effort to fight back against these cyber crooks by urging Congress to quickly pass the bipartisan DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Team Act and by calling on the FBI to quickly and thoroughly investigate the incidents that have plagued New York and then brief Congress,” he said at a Monday event, according to The Hill.

Now, the House must approve the amended Senate bill before it can be sent to President Trump to be signed into law.

Lawmakers in the Senate also made moves on Tuesday that will affect funding for DHS and its cyber arm, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The Homeland Security subcommittee approved the DHS budget, which dedicates $2 billion to CISA and $1 billion to cybersecurity specifically, according to POLITICO.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

  • Understanding Access Control Understanding Access Control

    In this episode, Jason Bohrer, the executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance, discusses the access control vertical and technology from the Alliance’s point of view. The Secure Technology Alliance is the digital security industry’s premier association. It exists as a neutral forum that brings together leading providers and adopters of end-to-end security solutions designed to protect privacy and digital assets in a variety of vertical markets. Now, with new areas such as IoT, the Alliance uses its proven processes to provide technology providers and adopters with the insights they need to build security in at the point of development and implementation.

Digital Edition

  • Security Today Magazine - November December 2021

    November / December 2021

    Featuring:

    • Navigating System Integration
    • Protecting Premises and People
    • Cashing in Your VMS System
    • Encryption and Compliance
    • Security Breach at 38,000 Feet

    View This Issue

  • Environmental Protection
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Infrastructure Solutions Group
  • Spaces4Learning
  • Campus Security & Life Safety