Texas congressman hopes to promote state, local access to federal cyber resources
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is pushing a new bill to give state and local governments more access to federal resources for their cybersecurity efforts.
The “State and Local Cyber Protection Act of 2015,” H.R. 3869, which Hurd introduced Tuesday with co-sponsor Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, specifically directs the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center to coordinate with state and local officials to help them secure their networks on a voluntary basis.
Staff at the center will also be called on to help train state and local IT staff on cybersecurity issues, and the bill requires the NCCIC to ask governments for feedback on their efforts to lend a hand.
“State and local governments often do not have access to adequate personnel or technical cybersecurity resources,” Hurd said in a release. “This is more than just about protecting the private information of individuals who work for local government agencies. Frankly, cyber breaches at any level can put our national security at risk.”
The seven-page bill has already earned the support of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, with Executive Director Doug Robinson writing in a letter that he believes the bill “will assist CIOs in bolstering their cybersecurity posture.”
“We especially appreciate that [the bill] makes DHS resources available upon request and does not mandate the utilization of federal resources for state partners,” Robinson wrote.
The House Committee on Homeland Security will now decide if the bill moves forward.