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.

{mosads}The bill’s primary sponsor, House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul (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 Langevin (D-R.I.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), and John Ratcliffe (R-Texas).

The bill has a companion measure in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) along with Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). The Senate version was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in April and awaits a floor vote.  

Tags Dutch Ruppersberger Gary Peters Jim Langevin John Katko John Ratcliffe Maggie Hassan Michael McCaul Rob Portman
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