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Lamar S.
Republican TX 21

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  • The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014

    by Representative Lamar Smith

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    SMITH of texas in the house of representatives Thursday, December 11, 2014 Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representatives McCaul and Lipinski for introducing the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act in the House last year. I am pleased to be an original cosponsor.



    In April 2013, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act was favorably reported out of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and later passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 402-16.

    The bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the legislation before us today is based on the House-passed bill.

    Throughout the 113th Congress, the Science Committee has remained committed to advancing the basic research necessary to strengthen our Nation's cyber infrastructure.

    Cyber attacks against the U.S. government and private sector networks are on the rise. Scarcely a day passes without a report of a new cyber attack on critical parts of our nation's cyber infrastructure, government agency, or business.

    As our reliance on information technology expands, so do our vulnerabilities. New technological advances bring new avenues from which foreign countries can attack our networks.

    Protecting America's cyber systems is critical to our economic and national security.

    The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act is the work of a bicameral bipartisan compromise. S.1353 promotes much-needed research and development to help create new technologies and standards that better protect America's information technology systems.

    The legislation before us today will coordinate research and development activities to better address evolving cyber threats.

    Keeping our cyber infrastructure secure is a responsibility shared by several Federal agencies, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    To improve America's cybersecurity abilities, this bill strengthens: Strategic planning for cybersecurity research and development needs across the federal government; NSF scholarships to improve the quality of the cybersecurity workforce; and Research, development and public outreach organized by NIST related to cybersecurity.

    S. 1353 maintains language from the House passed Cybersecurity Enhancement Act. This language will strengthen NIST's role in cybersecurity automation and checklist creation for government systems, strategic planning for cloud computing, and identity management research and development.

    The bill also includes language from the legislation introduced last year by Senators Rockefeller and Thune. These provisions will encourage competitions and challenges that focus on the security of information technology and support public-private collaboration on cybersecurity.

    The threat of cyber-attacks is immediate. To address our vulnerabilities as quickly as possible, America needs a solution that invokes the cooperation of many public and private sector entities. We must develop a rigorous scientific foundation for cybersecurity. This legislation helps foster such an effort.

    I again thank my Science Committee colleague, Representative McCaul, for his initiative on this issue. He has led the charge on this legislation over the last several Congresses. I look forward to this bill becoming law.

    ____________________

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