Cornyn, Hassan Introduce Bill to Secure Federal Agencies’ Cyber Networks

U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and I introduced the Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act, which would help federal agencies update and improve their cyber posture.

Cyber-attacks are escalating at an alarming rate, making it vital that our federal agencies have access to programs and tools to help mitigate these risks. This legislation would help ensure the Department of Homeland Security can continue to rely on and evolve the CDM program to understand and defend against the cyber threats before them.

“Strengthening the security of federal information networks will help keep Americans and their data safe from threats, and I am pleased to join Senator Cornyn in introducing this commonsense measure to help do just that,” Sen. Hassan said. “By establishing in law the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program at the Department of Homeland Security and requiring the Department to develop policies for updating the program’s vulnerability detection capabilities to keep pace with ever-evolving threats, this bipartisan bill will further strengthen our nation’s defense in the face of cyber threats from Russia, China, criminal hackers, and cyber terrorists.”

Background:

The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program is run through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s National Protection and Programs Directorate and is meant to provide cyber capabilities to continuously monitor the networks of federal agencies. This bill would:

  • Codify the work of the CDM program to date;
  • Require the Secretary to make CDM capabilities available and develop policies for reporting cyber risks and incidents based upon data collected under CDM;
  • Direct the Secretary to deploy new CDM technologies to continuously evolve the program;
  • And require DHS to develop a strategy to ensure the program continues to adjust to the cyber threat landscape.

Similar legislation led by U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe (TX-4) passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.

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