House approves bill to improve cyber information sharing between states and local governments

Under a bill approved by the House of Representatives, state, local, territorial and tribal governments will soon be able to request cybersecurity training and information on cybersecurity threat indicators and response measures from the Center DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration (NCCIC).

The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act (S.2520) would allow the NCCIC to coordinate, upon request, with state, local, territorial, and tribal government entities on cybersecurity activities. Specifically, the NCCIC could engage with government entities willing to conduct exercises, provide operational and technical cybersecurity training, assist with information sharing efforts, provide notifications on specific information on incidents and malware, share information about cybersecurity tools, resources and policies, and promote cybersecurity education. and awareness.

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In conducting these activities, the NCCIC shall coordinate with relevant federal and non-federal entities as appropriate, including the Multistate Information Clearinghouse and Analysis Center. DHS would be required to periodically report to Congress on its engagement with government institutions.

The bill was originally introduced in the Senate by Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who mentioned “The federal government must step in and take action to help these local communities … quickly identify threats and patch vulnerabilities in their computer systems.”

“Cybercriminals continue to attack state, local, tribal and territorial government networks,” Peters said. “The federal government must step in and act to help these local communities – which often lack the resources to defend themselves – to quickly identify threats and fix vulnerabilities in their computer systems. This bipartisan legislation will help local governments provide essential services to residents, even in the face of a cyberattack, and I will continue to fight for its rapid enactment.

The Senate unanimously approved the bill in January, and last week the House passed it by a total of 404-14. It now passes through the office of President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

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