State Cybersecurity Coordinators

I was pleased to see a post from one of the senators from my home state of New Hampshire about a bi-partisan bill she has sponsored that would create a Cybersecurity Coordinator position in each of the 50 states under CISA, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency which is part of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The legislation is titled the Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act of 2020.

This seems to be a good idea. In sponsoring the bill, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with co-sponsors Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) aim to create a coordinated effort to align the cybersecurity efforts of all the states with the federal government. In the wake of numerous ransomware attacks that have hit state and local agencies, the need for more activity and closer coordination, especially during the response to an attack is evident.

Senators Hassan, Cornyn, Peters and Portman.

Senator Hassan has a history of success with cybersecurity related legislation, having successfully sponsored the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019. This bill was signed in to law at the end of 2019 and created DHS teams tasked with helping private businesses, state and local governments with their response to increasing cybersecurity threats.

To quote Senator Hassan, "Cyberattacks can be devastating for a community, sometimes eliminating access to vital records or even shutting down electrical grids. That’s why I introduced the Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act, which would create a cybersecurity coordinator position designated to each state. We need specialists on the ground that can help protect and prepare our communities."

I am following the progress of this legislation and will post updates as this works its way through the process.