House approves raft of cyber bills in wake of ransomware attacks

The House on Tuesday approved a host of bipartisan bills meant to strengthen and expand CISA’s role in the country’s cybersecurity and better secure critical infrastructure networks.

The measures — which previously cleared the House Homeland Security Committee —  come as congressional lawmakers scramble for policy solutions following a series of high-profile ransomware attacks and digital assaults on key U.S. sectors.

The chamber also approved a trio of bills related to the energy sector:

  • Energy Emergency Leadership Act. Requires the Energy Secretary to assign energy emergency and energy security responsibilities, including infrastructure and cybersecurity, to an assistant secretary.
  • Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act. Directs the Energy Secretary to create and implement a program to enhance the physical and cybersecurity of electric utilities, in consultation with state and other federal officials and the private sector.
  • Cyber Sense Act of 2021. Create a voluntary Cyber Sense program at the Department of Energy to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk-power system.

6:20 p.m. ET: Article updated to include details on additional energy sector cybersecurity bills.

Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak is a senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He spent the last five years at Politico, where he covered Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community and was a driving force behind the publication's cybersecurity newsletter.

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