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Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Bill targets public, private sector cybersecurity

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Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) recently espoused the benefits of public and private sector cybersecurity legislation ready to be signed into law as part of the fiscal year 2020 budget agreement.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act requires the Department of Homeland Security to make permanent cyber hunt and cyber incident response teams to work to help prevent cyberattacks at all levels of government and the private sector.

“Our cyber hunt and incident response teams play an important role in protecting against cyber threats, reducing cybersecurity risks, and helping to get our cyber infrastructure back up and running after an attack occurs,” Portman said. “I am glad that our bipartisan legislation passed so that we can strengthen our response and recovery efforts in the event of a cyberattack.”

Local and state governments, as well as businesses, hospitals, and other entities, will be able to request assistance from the teams in the event of an attack under the measure.

“I am very pleased that bipartisan legislation that I introduced with Senator Portman to better prevent and respond to cyberattacks is ready to be signed into law,” Hassan said. “From local officials working to protect New Hampshire communities to federal agencies tasked with shoring up cybersecurity, it’s clear that there is more we need to do to strengthen cybersecurity at every level. This bipartisan legislation takes an important step forward in these efforts, equipping public and private sector entities with the expertise that they need to strengthen their cyber defenses and respond to threats.”

The bill also authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to include private sector experts on the teams to bring to bear their non-governmental cyber expertise.