Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today introduced the Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act in the Senate. The House version of the bill (HR 6443), sponsored by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, passed the House earlier this month.

If signed into law, the bill would codify the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program into law.

“Cyberattacks are escalating at an alarming rate, making it vital that our Federal agencies have access to programs and tools to help mitigate these risks,” Sen. Cornyn said in a statement. “This legislation would help ensure the Department of Homeland Security can continue to rely on and evolve the CDM Program to understand and defend against the cyber threats before them.”

CDM is a multibillion dollar program led by DHS and aimed at safeguarding Federal agency networks by providing monitoring-as-a-service tools, which give agencies better knowledge of the endpoints, data, and activities occurring on their networks.

“Codifying the CDM program at DHS will help ensure its ongoing success and improvement as an indispensable cybersecurity tool for protecting our Federal networks,” Rep. Ratcliffe said in a statement. “I’m grateful for Sen. Cornyn’s leadership in the Senate to advance this important legislation that will help ensure our national cybersecurity efforts keep pace with the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.”

The bill would provide legislative backing to ensure that the CDM Program continues to employ leading-edge network monitoring technologies. It would also require the DHS Secretary to submit a strategy to Congress–within 180 days of the bill’s enactment–on how to carry out the program effectively.

Prior to being introduced in the Senate, HR 6443 was introduced on July 18 by Rep. Ratcliffe, approved by the House Homeland Security Committee on July 24, and passed by voice vote by the House of Representatives on Sept. 4.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.