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 McCaulBiden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress China draws scrutiny over case of tennis star Peng Shuai House GOP seek to block Biden from reopening Palestinian mission in Jerusalem 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. LangevinFederal agencies ordered to patch hundreds of vulnerabilities Lawmakers praise upcoming establishment of cyber bureau at State Federal first responders deserve the retirement we promised them MORE (D-R.I.), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoSunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist Lawmakers increasingly anxious about US efforts against Russian hackers GOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MORE (R-N.Y.), Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerMaryland Democrats target lone Republican in redistricting scheme Hillicon Valley — Facebook launches rebranding campaign Maryland rep deactivates Facebook, Instagram until reforms are enacted MORE (D-Md.), and John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead DOJ charges two Iranians with interference in 2020 election In dramatic shift, national intelligence director does not rule out 'extraterrestrial' origins for UFOs MORE (R-Texas).

The bill has a companion measure in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanConstant threats to government funding fail the American public Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Sununu sidesteps question on running for president in 2024 MORE (D-N.H.) along with Sens. Gary PetersGary PetersFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — US mulls Afghan evacuees' future Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBipartisan success in the Senate signals room for more compromise Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — US mulls Afghan evacuees' future Hillicon Valley — Presented by Ericsson — DOJ unveils new election hacking charges MORE (R-Ohio). The Senate version was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in April and awaits a floor vote.