On Monday, December 11, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2017 (CISAA), the purpose of which is to centralize authority and responsibility for cybersecurity at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), primarily by reorganizing its National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), specifically elevating it into its own operational agency and re-designating it as the "Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)." As background, the NPPD is responsible for securing federal networks and US critical infrastructure from cyber and physical threats.
Chiefly, the bill directs the CISA to be headed by a Director of National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security who will lead national efforts to protect and enhance the security and resiliency of US cybersecurity, emergency communications, and critical infrastructure. To facilitate this effort, the new CISA will be divided into three divisions: cybersecurity, infrastructure security and emergency communications. This division will enable the CISA to better coordinate a government response in the event of a cyberattack, particularly the emergency communications aspect. (All nonemergency communications will take place through the new cybersecurity division, which will also serve as a hub for risk assessment and cybersecurity intelligence.)
Government contractors that partner with the NPPD (or CISA, if this bill becomes law) can expect a more organized and efficient flow of cybersecurity information and, it is hoped, a quicker response to a cyber incident. (H.R. 3359, 07/24/2017)
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