US senators green-light recruitment of crack infosec teams, both public and private

Cyber-terrorists, your game is through, 'cause now you have to answer to: America, fsck yeah!

The puppets from Team America: World Police gather at a bar for drinks.

The US Congress has, near enough, approved a law bill to create a new set of dedicated cyber-security teams within the Department of Homeland Security.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed S.315, also known as the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019, a bipartisan measure that funds the creation of both investigation and response teams at various agencies within the department.

According to co-sponsors Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), the legislation is aimed to not only create teams for investigations within Homeland Security, but also outside using the private sector. In addition to creating these teams, the bill will authorize spending to bring in private companies when needed.

The teams' duties will include assisting agencies in recovering from attacks and outages, risk assessment and threat mitigation, and developing recommendations and best practices for network and data security at various DHS offices.

"This bipartisan legislation will allow the best minds in cybersecurity to work together to better protect our digital infrastructure and to respond to attacks," Hassan said after the bill passed.

"I am pleased that this commonsense bill passed the Senate, and I urge my colleagues in the House to pass it without delay."

Someone enjoying a spliff

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Having passed the Senate, the bill heads to the House for final approval before being sent to be signed into law by the President. As The Hill notes, a passage in the House is likely, as the Senate bill is a modified version of one the House voted in favor of back in June.

Given recent events, however, the President might be otherwise occupied from signing bills for some time.

"Our cyber response teams play an important role in protecting against cyber threats, reducing cybersecurity risks, and helping to get our cyber infrastructure back up and running after an attack occurs," Portman said of the bill.

"I am glad the Senate passed our bipartisan legislation and I hope we send it to the president’s desk soon so that we can strengthen our response efforts in the event of a cyberattack." ®

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