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Monday, June 14th, 2021

Senate advances cyberattack response legislation

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U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) recently applauded Senate action advancing legislation designed to expedite the government’s ability to respond to cyberattacks.

The measure was advanced with a larger legislative package enhancing domestic competitiveness on the global stage, providing additional resources and better coordination for serious cyberattacks or breaches that risk the safety and security of Americans.

“Over the past few months, we have seen foreign adversaries and criminal organizations relentlessly attack American networks,” Peters said. “As we saw from the recent attack against Colonial Pipeline – these breaches can have devastating effects. This bipartisan provision will help strengthen our response to online assaults from bad actors to ensure we are providing the public and private sector with the resources to recover from attacks and help protect our nation’s critical infrastructure.”

Under the provision, an authority would be created for the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the National Cyber Director, declaring a Significant Incident in the event of an ongoing or imminent attack impacting national security, economic security, or government operations.

“Our nation is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks every day, as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack showed. Cyberattacks are getting worse and more frequent while the government and critical infrastructure are more dependent on information technology,” said Portman, chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Our legislation passed by the Senate will provide important emergency resources when major cyber attacks occur and overwhelm the organizations attacked.”