Monday, March 4, 2019

HR 1158 Introduced – Cyber Response Teams

Last month Rep. McCaul (R,TX) introduced HR 1158, the DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2019. This bill is similar to S 315 that was introduced in January. The bill would provide authorization for the current US-CERT and ICS-CERT response teams in the DHS NCCIC.


The differences between the two bills are not drastic, but the subtle differences may have an effect on the operation of these teams.

The ‘new’ language added to HR 1158 is relatively inconsequencial. In the added paragraph (f)(1)(E) (this bill references the outdated ‘6 USC 148’ instead of ‘6 USC 659’), for instance substitutes “the Under Secretary appointed under section 103(a)(1)(H)” for the “Secretary” used in the Senate bill.

The language from S 315 that is removed is somewhat more interesting. The most common change is the frequent removal of the words ‘cyber hunt’ from the description of the response teams in the bill, but this is not universally removed so it should have no impact.

A significantly more important change is found in paragraph (f)(2) {which was (f)(4) in the Senate bill, a paragraph numbering change of no apparent importance}. The Senate bill reads:

“CYBERSECURITY SPECIALISTS.— After notice to, and with the approval of, the entity requesting action by or technical assistance from the Center, the Secretary may include cybersecurity specialists from the private sector on a cyber hunt and incident response team.”

The House bill completely deletes the opening phrase; removing any option for an affected party asking for NCCIC response assistance to decide if they want non-governmental personnel involved in the investigation process.

Moving Forward

McCaul is an influential member of the House Homeland Security Committee, the committee to which this bill was assigned consideration, so there is a good chance that this bill will be considered in committee. There is nothing in the bill that would draw any significant opposition so it should pass, both in committee and on the floor of the House, with significant bipartisan support.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */