Congressman’s Cybersecurity Act Moves Forward to Help Private Sector

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — U.S. banks are bracing for retaliatory cyberattacks after Western nations imposed a series of tough sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, cyber experts and leaders said.

US Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska presented HR 5658, the DHS Cyberspace Roles and Responsibilities Actwhich would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to access a cyber incident response plan and procedures.

Bacon is now asking lawmakers to fast-track this bill to help the US private sector survive interference from Russian hackers by requiring Homeland Security to review its cyber response policy and recommend fixes or upgrades.

“This bill directs the federal government to help private industry and our private infrastructure — whether it’s energy, the electrical grid, or our financial sector. It directs the federal government to help protect these industries against cyberattacks from Russia, primarily,” Bacon explained.

Bacon said that following the Colonial Pipeline and JBS meat processing plant ransomware attacks, they found that private companies lacked the capacity to withstand a high-end Russian cyberattack.

He said the federal government must have a game plan to defend the private sector.

“So we have to help this private industry defend itself. Otherwise, we have very important sectors in America vulnerable – they pay a ransom,” Bacon said. “So we have to step in here and do better.”

Bacon also said he discovered during recent attacks last year that there was confusion at the federal government level about its role in protecting private industries.

So what exactly is the government’s role in protecting these industries? Bacon said that’s what his bill will help clarify.

“We want to make it clear that we went to make it absolutely clear that there is a role. We want to delineate responsibilities within the government itself,” he said.

Bacon said he introduced the bill last summer and it was unanimously approved by the committee; now it is waiting for it to be voted on.

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