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The United States of America Signs Two Bills to Enhance Government Cyber Security

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Cyber Secure India

The United States of America, has always been at the forefront of Law Enactment and also implementation of Cyber Security Measures, when we compare the similar scope of activities on the global templet. Recently the Joe Biden administration signed and endorsed a few laws to enhance  Cyber Security aspect for the country. As part of this strategy, Two (02) such Bills were endorsed by the President on 21 June 2022 (Tuesday) which focus on enhancing the Government Cybersecurity. Both these bills were sponsored by Democrat and Republican senators and representatives, showing a bipartisan endeavour to minimize and ensure robustness of the cybersecurity posture and deterrence to Cyber Threats on the United States, to include the Federal Governments.

Earlier, the US administration had ratified and endorsed an Executive Order (EO) on improving the nation’s cybersecurity to galvanize public and private efforts to help identify, deter, protect against, detect, and respond to persistent and increasingly sophisticated malicious cyber campaigns. This has been a fallout of the recent Cyber Attacks and Cyber Espionage Campaigns on the US by external State and Non-state elements.

As per analysis of PWC US, the EO triggers to aspects as under:

  • It calls for making federal government systems stronger and safer so they’re harder to break into. It pushes specific actions to modernize cybersecurity in the federal government, such as zero trust architecture. And it uses the $70 billion information technology (IT) purchasing power of the federal government to impel the market to build security into all software from the ground up.
  • It sets a goal for more effective and agile federal government responses. It requires IT providers to report cyber incidents and removes contractual barriers for them to share information with government entities. The EO also standardizes the playbook for different agencies to respond together to incidents.

“This EO is just the first step for dealing with nation-state supply chain attacks” said Sean Joyce, PwC’s Global & US Cybersecurity, Privacy & Forensics leader.

In the recent Whitehouse announcement, the two bills signed by President Biden signed focuses on cybersecurity which now has become the law (a) State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act of 2021 & (b) Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act:

  • State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act of 2021:
    • This bill provides for collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as corporations, associations, and the general public, regarding cybersecurity.
    • The bill expands DHS responsibilities through grants and cooperative agreements, including provision of assistance and education related to cyber threat indicators, proactive and defensive measures and cybersecurity technologies, cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, incident response and management, analysis, and warnings.
    • The bill requires the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, upon request, to coordinate with entities such as the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to engage in specified activities, including to (1) conduct exercises with state, local, tribal, or territorial government entities; (2) provide operational and technical cybersecurity training to such entities; and (3) promote cybersecurity education and awareness.
  • Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act:
    • This bill establishes a rotational cyber workforce program under which certain federal employees may be detailed among rotational cyber workforce positions at other agencies.
    • This bill authorizes an agency to determine whether a workforce position involving information technology, cybersecurity, or other cyber-related functions in that agency is eligible for the program.
    • Additionally, the bill requires the Office of Personnel Management to issue a Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program operation plan providing policies, processes, and procedures for detailing employees among rotational cyber workforce positions at agencies.
    • The Government Accountability Office must assess the operation and effectiveness of the rotational cyber workforce program by addressing the extent to which agencies have participated in the program and the experiences of employees serving in the program.

Conclusion

The US government also finalised the 2023, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA); The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA’s) Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, which recommends the new cybersecurity recruitment position. These bills and laws have not only been done in isolation, and hence the present strategy is a wholistic measure. The President had also recently conducted the review of the creation of a “cybersecurity bureau” and “cybersecurity review board”. 

India has also initiated steadfast measure to address Cyber Security at a national level. In a recent event held at New Delhi, India, on 20 June 2022 (Monday), The Home Minister of India, Shri Amit Shah Addressing the National Conference on ‘Cyber Safety and National Security’, organised by the MHA to create mass awareness about prevention of cybercrimes, spoke on the significance of Cyber Security and the National Vision.

The Minister spoke on the “Cybersecurity linkages to national security, and India’s intent address the Cyber Threat to the nation”, “The importance of a secured Cyber-space to India’s development”. The Minister stated that data privacy and protection of critical infrastructure from cyberattacks were imminent challenges in the wake of the digital revolution, and also the preparedness that India has to face cyber threats from adversaries. The Minister also informed, that the country is proud to announce that we have over 80 crore Indians with online presence on the web as on date.

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