Daines, Warner Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Federal Cybersecurity

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines and U.S. Senator Mark Warner today introduced legislation to support research and development that will boost cybersecurity innovation.

Cybersecurity is a critical component of U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) responsibilities.  In light of recent federal data breaches with delayed detection and notification, there is a need to improve our nation’s cyber infrastructure.  This legislation would expedite the implementation of new and real-time technologies and leverage the private sector.

“The private sector runs a lot faster than the federal government,” Daines stated. “We need the government to be able to keep up with private sector innovation to create more good-paying jobs and protect against cyber attacks.”

“The US spends roughly $80 billion on IT, but less than a quarter of it goes to the development and implementation of new systems. The federal government’s approach toward cybersecurity has traditionally been to constantly patch and repatch outdated systems rather than adopting new, more innovative technology,” said Warner. “This legislation will help us break that cycle. It supports the critical role that DHS plays in ensuring the security of federal IT networks and data and the nation’s critical infrastructure systems, and provides a mechanism for DHS to work with academia, industry and other agencies to innovate, improve, and update technologies so that we can better secure our increasingly connected lives.”

Support for Rapid Innovation Act of 2017:

This legislation would direct the Under Secretary for Science and Technology of DHS to support the research, development, testing, evaluation, and transition of new cybersecurity technologies, with a focus on:

  • the deployment of more secure information systems
  • technologies for detecting attacks in real-time
  •  recovery methodologies and real-time containment
  • review of source code that underpins critical infrastructure information systems
  • technologies to reduce vulnerabilities in industrial control systems
  • cyber forensics 

Additionally the bill:

  • extends the authorization for DHS to carry out a research and development projects and adds a requirement that the Secretary approves projects that use the authority
  • directs the coordination with industry.
  • explicitly states that no additional funds are authorized. 

The National Venture Capital Association wrote a letter in support of the bill. Click here to download.

Before serving in Congress, Daines worked in the technology sector for more than twelve years. He served as vice president of Montana-based RightNow Technologies, a global leader in cloud computing and multi-billion dollar technology company that became Bozeman, Montana’s largest commercial employer.

Warner is a former business and technology executive and entrepreneur who co-founded the company that became Nextel. He is the co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus and Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.