Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Improve Response to Cyber Threats

Feb 14, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Michael T. McCaul (R-TX), Jim Langevin (D-RI), John Katko (D-NY), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), and John Ratcliffe (R-TX) released the following after introducing H.R. 1158 — the Cyber Incident Response Teams Act.

This bill codifies and enhances Cyber Incident Response Teams at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to elevate and prioritize DHS’s vital obligation to protect our information technology networks and critical infrastructure. These teams provide assistance and support to asset owners and operators following a cyber-incident. Additionally, this legislation will foster collaboration between the government and private sector by allowing cyber specialists to operate on the cyber incident response teams.

Congressman McCaul: The United States must remain vigilant to the cyber threats we face as a nation and we must constantly evolve to improve our defensive capabilities. This legislation provides an additional line of defense by ensuring DHS has cyber incident response teams to assist asset owners and operators with their responses to cyber-incidents. Additionally, this legislation enables DHS to foster collaboration between the private and public sectors to harness and maximize our efforts to combat cyber threats and protect our cyber networks. It is essential that Congress work to find real, bipartisan solutions that secure our critical infrastructure and defend the integrity of our cybersecurity systems.

Congressman Langevin: I am proud to join my good friend and fellow Cybersecurity Caucus co-chair Congressman McCaul on this bipartisan bill. Hunt and incident response teams are fundamental to the mission of the new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the creation of which is a testament to Mike’s passion for this issue while he chaired the Homeland Security Committee. In protecting federal government networks and those of critical infrastructure owners and operators, CISA is leading the way in ensuring we can enjoy the immense benefits of the Internet while reducing the risks being connected can bring. The teams authorized by this bill are the first responders of the cyber world, and I know all of my colleagues join me in thanking them for their dedication to keeping us safe.

Congressman Katko: We must continuously look to improve America’s ability to respond to cyber-attacks. Cyber Incident Response Teams, codified by this legislation, will ensure cybersecurity threats are properly identified and addressed, as well as provide assistance to help Americans recover from a cyber-attack. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill and thank Chairman McCaul for his leadership on this issue.

Congressman Ruppersberger: Every day, American employers and corporations are facing cyber-attacks that not only target trade secrets, but critical infrastructure including systems supporting the operation of our electric grid, telecommunications networks and financial markets. CISA’s cyber response teams are tasked with the extraordinary job of mitigating these attacks. This bill will improve their capacity to respond quickly and deftly when we need them most.

Congressman Ratcliffe: The cyber threats we face are growing and changing on a daily basis, which means we must continuously adapt and enhance our tools to prevent and address them. I’m grateful to be joining Congressman McCaul and our bipartisan colleagues to move legislation that will boost DHS’ ability to respond to cyber incidents through new collaborative efforts with private sector cyber specialists who can help us ensure our cyber networks are better secured.