Monday, February 18, 2019

S 315 Introduced – DHS Cyber Response Teams

Last month Sen. Hassan (D,NH) introduced S 315, the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019. The bill would authorize the current cyber incident response teams in the DHS NCCIC. The bill is very similar to HR 5074 from the 115th Congress which passed in the House but was never taken up in the Senate.

The bill does not name the teams, but the description certainly refers to the incident investigation teams associated with US-CERT and ICS-CERT. The bill specifically mentions ‘control systems’ {6 USC 659(f)(1)(D)} but does not provide a definition for that term.

Hassan and her two cosponsors {Sen. Peters (D,MI) and Sen. Portman (R,OH)} are all influential members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This should mean that the bill has a good chance of being considered in that Committee. A recent article over on pointed out, however, how hard it is to get cybersecurity legislation through that Committee. Since this bill does not contain any new authority for NCCIC nor does it approve any new funding, this bill may be able to avoid that cybersecurity trap.

NOTE: HR 1158 was recently introduced in the House with a similar sounding name, but the text has not yet been published. I suspect that it will be very similar to this bill.

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