The House closed out their Cybersecurity Week Friday by passing two more cybersecurity bills. Both dealt with research issues and one may actually have a minimal impact on control system security issues. HR 2096, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2011, passed by a vote of 395-10; certainly a bipartisan vote, especially since all of the ‘Nays’ were Republican. HR 3834, the Advancing America’s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2012, passed by a voice vote.
HR 3834 introduces the term ‘cyber-physical systems’ to describe a wide range of control and monitoring systems. These systems are added to the list of research topics addressed in amends the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991. Unfortunately this act does not provide any specific funding for these research priorities so the money has to come out of existing priorities.
Oh well, control systems are now at least considered in a piece of cybersecurity legislation.
As I mentioned yesterday, neither of these bills is in any way controversial, they don’t cost any real money, so they can be expected to be passed relatively easily in the Senate. They will also allow everyone to point to them as proof that the Congress takes cybersecurity seriously and has actually done something about it.Having accomplished so much this week both the House and Senate will take a previously scheduled two-week recess.