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House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams

House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams
© Greg Nash

The House passed legislation by voice vote on Monday that would create “cyber incident response teams” at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which can be used to assist both government and private sector organizations after a data breach or other cyberattack.

The DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act would establish these teams within DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, with the groups charged with providing assistance and support to “asset owners and operators” following a cyber incident. Private sector cyber experts would be allowed to be members of the teams.

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The bill’s primary sponsor, House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulGOP lawmakers block Biden assistance to Palestinians Iran talks set up delicate dance for Biden team House panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization MORE (R-Texas), said in a statement following the bill’s passage that the legislation will help foster “collaboration between the public and private sector,” describing the cyber teams as “first responders” after an attack.

“When cyber-attacks occur, immediate expertise is needed to mitigate damage and ensure organizations are restored,” McCaul said. “Today’s legislation ensures that the Department of Homeland Security can foster collaboration between the public and private sector to ensure our nation can continue to adapt to the constant changes in the cyber landscape.”

Other sponsors of the bill are Reps. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinBipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks Hillicon Valley: Grid security funding not included in Biden's infrastructure plan | Russia fines Twitter | Lawmakers call for increased school cybersecurity Lawmakers urge Education Department to take action to defend schools from cyber threats MORE (D-R.I.), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoLegislation seeks metrics to boost border funding for future migrant 'surge' Lawmakers reintroduce legislation to secure internet-connected devices House Republicans who backed Trump impeachment warn Democrats on Iowa election challenge MORE (R-N.Y.), Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerHouse approves cyber funds in relief package as officials press for more Maryland lawmakers ask Biden to honor Capital Gazette shooting victims with Presidential Medal of Freedom Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments MORE (D-Md.), and John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeSunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge Former Trump officials eye bids for political office Grenell congratulates Buttigieg on becoming second openly gay Cabinet member MORE (R-Texas).

The bill has a companion measure in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanTo encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE (D-N.H.) along with Sens. Gary PetersGary PetersHillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Bipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Let's make a deal on infrastructure, taxes MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Bipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks GOP Ohio Senate candidate asked to leave RNC retreat MORE (R-Ohio). The Senate version was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in April and awaits a floor vote.