Senate bill aimed at creating cybersecurity coordinators in states

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate Friday would create a federal program to bolster response to cyberattacks in states by installing cybersecurity coordinators.

Under the Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act, sponsored by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Gary Peters, D-Mich., John Cornyn, R-Texas and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the program would fall under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and would facilitate threat information-sharing as well as boost coordination between state and federal governments.

Saying that the federal government should “do more to ensure that state and local entities have the resources and training that they need to prevent and respond to cyberattacks,” Hassan explained in a statement that the legislation would be a big step “in improving communication between the federal government, states, and localities, as well as strengthening cybersecurity preparedness in communities across the country.”

Noting that recent cyberattacks like the “ransomware attack on New Orleans — have begun to qualify as national emergencies, exposing the ever-shifting cybersecurity threat landscape and revealing to the public the dangerous commitment of modern hackers,” Paul Martini, CEO and co-founder of iboss, said, “governments at all levels are finally understanding the seriousness of this threat and the need to cooperate.” The bad guys are always changing methods and can even support each other by trading tips and the latest malware on the dark web. This legislation is a good first step by the government to embrace the same sort of coordination to combat those evolving threats.”

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