Tuesday 5th July 2022

BLOG: Biden Signs Two Bills to Enhance Government Cybersecurity

On Tuesday, June 21 President Biden signed two crucial cybersecurity bills into law to build a more robust cybersecurity workforce and aid local governments in combating cybercrime. These laws will increase cybersecurity cooperation between the federal, state, and local governments across the U.S.

The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act of 2021 (S.2520)

The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act puts CISA at the helm of steering the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integrations Center (NCCIC), so that they can more effectively share with state and local governments the tools, procedures, policies, and products they use for security. Ultimately, this will strengthen communication across the board and improve the efficacy of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act looks to improve the coordination, assistance and education between the Department of Homeland Security and local governments. Ultimately, strengthening communication regarding the tools, procedures, policies, and products they use for security and improve the efficacy of the National Cybercrime and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).

State and local governments have attractive systems and networks for cyber-criminals. These cyber-criminals may be working for nation-state-sponsored groups with unlimited resources with the motivation to cause panic, fear, and distrust in the federal, state, and local governments. As a result, municipalities, school districts, and critical infrastructure systems are attacked at a higher rate than ever before,” stated Peer. “We are excited to see The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act become law. The legislation took a major step in strengthening the state, local, and federal government’s cybersecurity posture, and provides funding for the education and training of cybersecurity professionals to implement cooperation and protect systems from attack across governments” stated Keith Peer, Head of Federal, Offensive Security.

Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act of 2021 (S.1097)

The Federal Rotation Cyber Workforce Program Act facilitates a rotational cyber workforce program within federal agencies. Establishing a formal process allowing cybersecurity employees to move between agencies to develop more skills, help close knowledge gaps, and enhance information sharing. The Senate passed this bill in 2019, but the House only voted on it this year. 

In January, a CISA-commissioned report by the National Academy of Public Administration found that the federal government “lacks a comprehensive, integrated government-wide strategy for developing a national cybersecurity workforce.” 

As a former CIO for the Federal government, Ryan Cote is familiar with the roadblocks that can come with attracting and retaining cybersecurity professionals. He stated, “There simply isn’t enough cybersecurity talent on the market, and you’re constantly competing with other industries. Any additional incentives or professional development that agencies can offer is worth exploring.”

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