With cyberattacks on the rise, Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., introduced legislation in the House this week that would require the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assess the agency’s cybersecurity incident response procedures and propose improvements.

The DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Cyber Space Act is co-sponsored by three members of the House Committee on Homeland Security: Vice Chairman Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., ranking member John Katko, R-N.Y., and ranking member of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y.

“Americans are alarmed at the dramatic increase in cyberattacks on private companies, including the recent ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and the JBS meatpacking facility in Nebraska,” Rep. Bacon said in a statement. “The Federal response to these cyber incidents was inadequate and exposed gaps and confusion in how we defend our critical infrastructure.”

“It’s clear that our cyber incident response framework must evolve to match the threat,” added Rep. Bacon. “This bill will set the conditions for improvements in our national cyber defenses by requiring the secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a thorough review of its cyber incident response plans, including how it works with private sector entities, and provide recommendations for improvement.”

As of Oct. 26, the text of the bill is not yet available on Congress.gov. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Read More About
More Topics
Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.