Congress to overhaul federal cybersecurity laws

Editor's note: This article was modfied to correct erroneous information regarding a planned Congressional hearing.

Congress is asking for input on a draft cybersecurity reform bill that will help shape how lawmakers update federal legislation protecting U.S. networks and critical infrastructure last handed down a decade ago.

A series of hearings, which began last summer, will continue as Congress looks to overhaul Federal Information Security Management Act 2002 this year, according to Federal News Radio and staffers at the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Cybersecurity has been a hotly debated issue in recent months, with legislators on both sides of the aisle demanding action be taken to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure and networks.

“Every day, our nation’s information systems are under attack. Congress and the rest of the federal government must work diligently to prepare better defenses against attacks that continue to grow in both number and complexity,” Issa wrote on a website called keepthewebopen.com, where a draft of the bill was posted.

The first hearing is entitled “Cybersecurity: Assessing the Immediate Threat to the United States.”

Comments on the draft are invited as Congress works to bring the decade-old legislation up to date.

“The Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012 enhances the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002 by improving the framework for ensuring security over the information technology systems that support the federal government. It establishes a mechanism for stronger oversight through a focus on automated and continuous monitoring of cybersecurity threats and conducting regular threat assessments,” the website noted.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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