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 McCaulHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Lawmakers introduce bill designating billion to secure state and local IT systems American technological leadership in an evolving world 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. LangevinHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Lawmakers introduce bill designating billion to secure state and local IT systems Congress has a shot at correcting Trump's central mistake on cybersecurity MORE (D-R.I.), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoCongress must deliver aid and empower localities to continue assisting in COVID-19 response Lawmakers zero in on Twitter following massive hack Democrat Dana Balter to face Rep. John Katko in NY House rematch MORE (R-N.Y.), Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Lawmakers introduce bill designating billion to secure state and local IT systems Lawmakers introduce legislation to establish national cybersecurity director MORE (D-Md.), and John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffePat Fallon wins GOP nomination in race to succeed DNI Ratcliffe Hillicon Valley: Google extending remote work policy through July 2021 | Intel community returns final Russia report to Senate committee after declassification | Study finds election officials vulnerable to cyberattacks Intel community returns final Russia report volume to Senate after declassification review MORE (R-Texas).

The bill has a companion measure in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Hillicon Valley: Feds warn hackers targeting critical infrastructure | Twitter exploring subscription service | Bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena power Senate-passed defense spending bill includes clause giving DHS cyber agency subpoena power MORE (D-N.H.) along with Sens. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersTop Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Not a pretty picture: Money laundering and America's art market MORE (R-Ohio). The Senate version was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in April and awaits a floor vote.