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US House mandates DHS to formulate cybersecurity strategy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The logo of Department of Homeland Security

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill demanding that the Department of Homeland Security develop a formal cybersecurity strategy.

On Tuesday, the House passed the bill which requires the DHS to devise a formal strategy for promoting cybersecurity in the US.

The legislation defines mandated responsibilities for the DHS strategy which entails acting as a hub to share infromation onfederal and civilian cyberthreat.

The bill would also require the agency to provide technical assistance such as help regarding hacks and to mitigate damage to organizations that suffer a breach.

The bill is part of a more comprehensive plan to codify DHS’s cybersecurity responsibilities.

Representative Michael McCaul, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security (pictured below) has presented the bill to grant DHS the authority to probe other agencies’ networks and block digital intruders.

The agency currently has to request permission to either monitor or search other agencies’ networks and recently it has taken a few hits for its cyber practices.

A similar piece of legislation in the Senate would also give DHS the authority to search for intruders on any government network without a formal request.

According to bill sponsor Representative Cedric Richmond (D-La.), "an important part" of improving cybersecurity is assuring that the agency is "able to defend our nation and its people from cyber-attacks.”

“We must be sure that the DHS has an ample strategy to carry out its mission in the face of ever-changing threats," he added.

The DHS has been created in response to the September 11 attacks and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from terrorist attacks.

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