Four Cybersecurity Bills Pass Congress

While the Sony hack has dominated cybersecurity news the past few weeks, there was some other news concerning actions taken by the United States Congress on this front. In a little reported move, the 113th Congress in its waning days passed four (4) cybersecurity- related bills:
  • The Cybersecurity Act
  • The National Cybersecurity Protection Act
  • The Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act
  • Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act
4 cybersecurity bills pass congress

The Cybersecurity Act allows the Obama administration to start writing new voluntary standards for industry to use to prevent attacks on critical infrastructure like power grids.

The National Cybersecurity Protection Act requires the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center to start sharing information on potential threats with private companies, who bear the brunt of most cyber attacks.

The Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act also includes language authorizing DHS to boost the pay and benefits of new recruits focused on cybersecurity issues.

And the Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act requires the secretary of homeland security to determine how to bolster the cybersecurity workforce across the sprawling department.”

According to the Hunton & Williams Privacy and Information Security Law Blog, these bills, “(1) clarify the role of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) in private-sector information sharing, (2) codify the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (“NIST”) cybersecurity framework, (3) reform oversight of federal information systems, and (4) enhance the cybersecurity workforce.”

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The President is expected to sign these four pieces of legislation, which represents the first time that Congress has passed and sent major cybersecurity legislation to the White House in 12 years.

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