House approves raft of cyber bills in wake of ransomware attacks
Martin Matishak July 20, 2021

House approves raft of cyber bills in wake of ransomware attacks

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 is a 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.