Chairman Carper Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Enhance Nations Cybersecurity Efforts

WASHINGTON- Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) Act of 2014 and the Federal Information Security Modernization (FISMA) Act of 2014, legislation that would take a number of steps to modernize and address critical challenges to the nation’s cyber security capabilities. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is a cosponsor of both bills.

“Cybersecurity is one of our nation’s biggest challenges,” said Chairman Carper. “That’s why it’s imperative that we face this 21st century threat with a 21st century response. While our work in this area is far from finished, these bills are an important step in our effort to modernize our nation’s cybersecurity programs and help the public and private sectors work together to tackle cyber threats more effectively in the future. Codifying the Department of Homeland Security’s existing cybersecurity operations center is critical to supporting the Department’s overall cyber mission and will ensure that the private sector, as well as federal, state and local entities, have improved certainty and clarity in partnering with the Department. Further, modernizing our outdated federal network security laws will make a significant difference in the security of our federal agencies while saving money by reducing unnecessary and burdensome paper reporting. I’d like to thank Dr. Coburn and his staff for their hard work on these measures and I will continue to work with him and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle on a long-term solution to enhance our nation’s cybersecurity efforts.”

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center Act of 2014 would codify the existing cybersecurity and communications operations center at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), known as the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. The bill calls on the Center is to serve as the federal civilian information sharing interface for cybersecurity. The bill authorizes the Center’s current activities to share cybersecurity information and analysis with the private sector, provide incident response and technical assistance to companies and federal agencies, and recommend security measures to enhance cybersecurity.

The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 would update the Federal Information Security Act of 2002 and address critical issues that have risen over the past 12 years. The bill would better delineate the roles and responsibilities of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and DHS, move agencies away from paperwork-heavy processes toward real-time and automated security, and put greater management and oversight attention on data breaches.

In May, the Committee approved the DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act of 2014, S.2354, which would help address critical challenges that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) faces in hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals by providing the Secretary of Homeland Security hiring and compensation authorities for cybersecurity experts like those of the Secretary of Defense.