U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) recently introduced legislation to promote enhanced cybersecurity coordination between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and state and local governments.
The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act previously passed the Senate. With the House of Representatives advancing the measure, the bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The bill requires federal cybersecurity experts to share information regarding cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and breaches, in addition to resources preventing and recovering from cyber-attacks, with states and localities increasingly targeted by perpetrators.
“State and local governments in Michigan and across the nation continue to be targeted by cybercriminals and other malicious actors,” Peters said. “These attacks can prevent access to essential services, compromise sensitive and personal information, and disrupt our daily lives and livelihoods. This common-sense legislation will strengthen coordination between all levels of government and give local officials in Michigan and across the country additional tools and resources to combat cyber-attacks.”
Portman said hackers with malicious intent could, and often do, attack state and local cyberinfrastructure.
“Sometimes, state and local governments need some additional help or access to expertise to address these threats,” Portman, chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said. “That’s why I’m pleased the House passed this bipartisan bill to strengthen an existing relationship between the Department of Homeland Security and state and local partners to improve coordination and information sharing to help protect our IT infrastructure at all levels of government. I urge President Biden to sign this important legislation into law quickly.”