Committee Approves Cybersecurity Overhaul Bill

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a bill that would overhaul the current federal cybersecurity laws. The bill will provide for continuous network monitoring, create permanent positions for federal CTO and Cyber Coordinator and remove the paper work driven compliance system.

“This has truly been a bipartisan effort. This is a very good bill,” said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The 2010 Federal Information Security Amendments Act (H.R. 4900), which looks to bolster U.S. cyber defenses against the growing threat landscape, will come before the House in mid-June. According to Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., who introduced the bill back in March, the committee also agreed to an amendment that would ensure certain products are not favored over others and that emerging technologies are accommodated.

The bill also looks to make the current CTO and Cyber Coordinator positions permanent fixtures in the White House. President Barack Obama created the positions be he or any future administration can dissolve them at will. The bill also calls for constant monitoring of IT networks, which is a change from the current FISMA standards that require periodic reports that certify network compliance.

The bill is currently one of over a dozen pending before Congress that relate to cybersecurity. HR 4900 is similar to the Senate bill that Sen. Joe Liebermann, I-Conn., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, is expected to unveil.

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