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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

House bill would create Cyber Incident Response Teams at DHS

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A bill was released in the U.S. House of Representatives that would codify the creation of Cyber Incident Response Teams within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

These cyber response teams would protect the nation’s information technology networks and critical infrastructure and provide support following a cyber-incident. Further, this bill would foster better collaboration between the government and private sector by allowing cyber specialists to operate on the cyber incident response teams

“The United States must remain vigilant to the cyber threats we face as a nation and we must constantly evolve to improve our defensive capabilities. This legislation provides an additional line of defense by ensuring DHS has cyber incident response teams to assist asset owners and operators with their responses to cyber-incidents. Additionally, this legislation enables DHS to foster collaboration between the private and public sectors to harness and maximize our efforts to combat cyber threats and protect our cyber networks. It is essential that Congress work to find real, bipartisan solutions that secure our critical infrastructure and defend the integrity of our cybersecurity systems,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), one of the bill’s sponsors said.

The bill — the Cyber Incident Response Teams Act — was co-sponsored by Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI), John Katko (D-NY), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), and John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

“Hunt and incident response teams are fundamental to the mission of the new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the creation of which is a testament to Mike’s passion for this issue while he chaired the Homeland Security Committee,” Langevin said. “In protecting federal government networks and those of critical infrastructure owners and operators, CISA is leading the way in ensuring we can enjoy the immense benefits of the Internet while reducing the risks being connected can bring. The teams authorized by this bill are the first responders of the cyber world, and I know all of my colleagues join me in thanking them for their dedication to keeping us safe.”

Katko added that these Cyber Incident Response Teams will ensure cybersecurity threats are properly identified and addressed.

“Every day, American employers and corporations are facing cyber-attacks that not only target trade secrets, but critical infrastructure including systems supporting the operation of our electric grid, telecommunications networks and financial markets,” Ruppersberger said. “CISA’s cyber response teams are tasked with the extraordinary job of mitigating these attacks. This bill will improve their capacity to respond quickly and deftly when we need them most.”