Senate panel to move on cybersecurity bills

Senate Homeland Security Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced two cybersecurity bills on Tuesday that will advance to a vote in the panel later this week.

The pair of bills should make it easier for government agencies and private companies to share information about hackers and focus federal efforts towards preventing stopping major hacks, Carper said.

“Cybersecurity is one of our nation’s biggest challenges,” he said in a statement. “While our work in this area is far from finished, these bills are an important step in our effort to modernize our nation’s cybersecurity programs and help the public and private sectors work together to tackle cyber threats more effectively in the future.”

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center Act would codify an existing cybersecurity center run by the Homeland Security Department and make sure that it operators as a sort of clearinghouse for the issue.

The Federal Information Security Modernization Act would reshuffle administrative roles and put more focus on stopping data beaches.

“Codifying the Department of Homeland Security’s existing cybersecurity operations center is critical to supporting the department’s overall cyber mission and will ensure that the private sector, as well as federal, state and local entities, have improved certainty and clarity in partnering with the department,” Carper said.

“Further, modernizing our outdated federal network security laws will make a significant difference in the security of our federal agencies while saving money by reducing unnecessary and burdensome paper reporting.”

Both bills will come up for a vote in the committee on Wednesday morning.