Senators introduce bill to create teams of cyber guardsmen at state-level

The bill would also allow governors to call on the cyber guard to train state and local law enforcement on methods to defend computer networks from online threats and attacks, as well as develop best practices that would allow these local entities to work more cohesively with federal responders.

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Additionally, the bill would require the secretary of Defense to report on ways to recruit and retrain more skilled cyber professionals. To this end, the Defense chief would report on the training requirements and demands in cyber-focused divisions and methods used to recruit members of the Armed Forces.

Boosting the nation's cybersecurity has become a top priority for President Obama and Congress this year after intelligence officials have warned about the rising cyber threat facing the country. When testifying before Congress this month, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said a cyberattack is the number threat to the country.

Top defense officials and lawmakers have issued warnings about the shortfall of skilled cyber professionals in the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has talked about the urgent need to educate and develop the next generation of cyber defense workers.

Along with Gillibrand, Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), David Vitter (R-La.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also co-sponsored the bill.

The House is expected to vote on cybersecurity legislation next month, while the upper chamber will likely put forward a bill later this year.