The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would strengthen U.S. cybersecurity protections for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) amid increased Russian cyber threats to ICS targets.

The Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act – introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., in May – would educate information technology professionals across the nation on how best to protect against attacks on computer network security systems.

The bill would establish, within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), an initiative to make permanent an education program that provides ICS cybersecurity training to public and private sector entities. Securing ICS is necessary because ICS is used to control industrial processes such as manufacturing, product handling, production, and distribution.

Additionally, according to Rep. Swalwell, these educational programs would keep businesses running and critical infrastructures safe against foreign cyber threats.

“The House passed my [ICS] Cybersecurity Training Act, which will strengthen U.S. cybersecurity protections from emerging threats and educate information technology professionals across the nation on how best to protect against foreign cyber threats,” Rep. Swalwell wrote in a Twitter message on Tuesday.

In addition to the educational training program, the bill also includes annual reporting requirements. The reports will include recommendations on expanding and improving ICS cyber training against future threats. These reports would also provide Congress with critical insights to develop future legislative actions that may be necessary to support the ongoing effort to strengthen the ICS cybersecurity workforce.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.