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New Cybersecurity Bills were passed by the House

This week, the United States House of Representatives passed four bills to improve Cybersecurity efforts around the country. The bill explores several measures to bolstering government agencies’ reactions to cyber threats. This year, cyberattacks have escalated rapidly, posing a constant threat to our national security. HR 3138, HR 2980, HR 3223, and HR 1833 were among more than a dozen homeland security proposals voted by the House this week.

The State and Municipal CybersecurityImprovement Act (HR 3138) would create a new $500 million grant program to offer dedicated financing to state, local, tribal, and territory governments to secure their networks against ransomware and other assaults. In addition, the Cybersecurity Vulnerability Remediation Act (HR 2980) aims to enable the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to help critical infrastructure owners and operators with mitigation measures against the most significant and well-known vulnerabilities.

The CISA Cyber Exercise Act (HR 3233) creates a National Cyber Exercise program under CISA to encourage more regular testing and systemic assessments of critical infrastructure preparedness and resilience to cyberattacks. In addition, the DHS Industrial Control Systems Capabilities Enhancement Act of 2021 (HR 1833) aims to boost CISA’s ability to detect and mitigate cyber threats to industrial control systems.

CISA would also be required to maintain cross-sector incident response capabilities, provide technical assistance to stakeholders, and collect, coordinate, and disseminate vulnerability information concerning industrial control systems. The bill was introduced in the wake of the Office of Civil Rights’ recent data on healthcare breach reports. Even though the bills would cover a wide range of issues, the medical industry has been particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks and other cyber-attacks. According to the HIPAA Journal, reported breaches increased by an above-average 11 percent in June compared to the previous month.

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