President Biden signed two bipartisan bills into law on Tuesday aimed at enhancing federal, state, and local governments’ cybersecurity measures.
The passage of the bills comes following an increased rate of cyber incidents over the past few years against government entities, including the SolarWinds attack. This cyberattack involved Russian agents compromising nine federal agencies and at least 100 private sector groups.
In May, Biden had signed another cybersecurity bill that improved the federal government’s data collection related to cybercrime.
One of the bills signed into law on Tuesday, called the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act, will establish a program that allows cybersecurity professionals to rotate through multiple federal agencies and sharpen their skills.
The bill also requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to annually distribute lists of open positions in the program to government employees.
The Senate originally passed the bill in 2019 but it was not voted on in the House until this year.
The bill unanimously passed the Senate in December and passed through the House via a voice vote in May.
The second bill, called the State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act, will aim to improve coordination on cybersecurity between the Department of Homeland Security and state and local governments.
This bill will require the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to share security tools and protocols with state, local, tribal and territorial governments. The NCCIC is a division that assists the federal government with its approach to cybersecurity.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously and on a 404-14 vote in the House in May.
“For hackers, state and local governments are an attractive target — we must increase support to these entities so that they can strengthen their systems and better defend themselves from harmful cyber-attack,” said Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), who introduced the bill, in a statement after the House’s passage.
Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who sponsored the bill in the Senate, called the provisions “commonsense” given the recent high level of cyber incidents.
“State and local governments in Michigan and across the nation continue to be targeted by cybercriminals and other malicious actors,” he said in a statement. “These attacks can prevent access to essential services, compromise sensitive and personal information, and disrupt our daily lives and livelihoods.”
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