New Bill Proposes Cyber Leaders for Each U.S. State

New Bill Proposes Cyber Leaders for Each U.S. State

  • The funds required to create these positions would come from the federal government.
  • Each state coordinator would be multifaceted, combining elements of training, advisory work, and program development.

A group of U.S. senators has proposed legislation regarding the appointment of a cybersecurity leader for each state under the Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act of 2020.

What happened?

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators last week introduced legislation to protect local governments by appointing cybersecurity leaders in each U.S state.

  • The Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act of 2020 is expected to improve intelligence sharing between state and federal governments.
  • It shall also speed up incident response times during cyberattack incidents.
  • The funds required to create these positions would come from the federal government.

Role and responsibilities

Under the proposed bill, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) would be tasked with appointing employees from the agency for each state as the cybersecurity state coordinator.

  • Each state coordinator would be multifaceted, combining elements of training, advisory work, and program development.
  • Each of them would need to serve as a principal federal cybersecurity risk advisor, while coordinating efforts to prepare for, respond to, and remediate cyber-attacks.
  • They would be responsible for raising awareness of the financial, technical, and operational resources available to nonfederal entities from the federal government.
  • Further, the coordinators would support exercises, training, and planning for continuity of operations to expedite a swift recovery from cybersecurity incidents.
  • They would play a vital role in assisting nonfederal entities in developing and coordinating vulnerability disclosure programs.

Comments by the bill proposers

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) said: “Cyberattacks can be devastating for communities across our country, from ransomware attacks that can block access to school or medical records to cyberattacks that can shut down electrical grids or banking services.”

“The federal government needs to do more to ensure that state and local entities have the resources and training that they need to prevent and respond to cyberattacks,” she added.

One of the bill co-sponsors, Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, "This bipartisan bill, which creates a cybersecurity state coordinator position, would help bolster state and local governments' cybersecurity by facilitating their relationship with the federal government to ensure they know what preventative resources are available to them as well as who to turn to if an attack occurs."