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 CoonsChris CoonsOvernight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Overnight Tech: Uber CEO resigns | Trump's Iowa tech trip | Dems push Sessions to block AT&T-Time Warner deal | Lawmakers warned on threat to election systems | Senate Dem offers patent reform bill MORE (D-Del.), David VitterDavid VitterOvernight Energy: Trump set to propose sharp cuts to EPA, energy spending Former La. official tapped as lead offshore drilling regulator Former senator who crafted chemicals law to lobby for chemicals industry MORE (R-La.), Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Regulation: Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief | FCC proposes 2M fine on robocaller | Yellowstone grizzly loses endangered protection Overnight Finance: Big US banks pass Fed stress tests | Senate bill repeals most ObamaCare taxes | Senate expected to pass Russian sanctions bill for second time GOP senator: 'No reason' to try to work with Dems on healthcare MORE (R-Mo.), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuMeet Mitch Landrieu, the 2020 dark-horse Dem Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Five unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory MORE (D-La.), Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyGoing national with automatic voter registration Republicans slam Trump’s new policy toward Cuba Trump draws a harder line on Cuba MORE (D-Vt.), Mark WarnerMark WarnerElection hacking fears turn heat on Homeland Security Are Democrats trying to pin the blame for their own sins on Russia? Policymakers forget duty to protect taxpayers from financial failures MORE (D-Va.) and Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Senators grill Perry on Yucca nuclear storage plans MORE (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.