Congress is Making Progress on Numerous Cybersecurity Bills Says Study from Starks on Cyberscoop

A think tank study released today found that while the amount of cybersecurity bills proposed in Congress has increased considerably within the last two years compared to the previous session of Congress, not many of them have actually been signed into law.

Third Way’s tally found that while bipartisan agreement was present on cybersecurity legislation, election security saw a notable decrease in this tendency. This is a first report by CyberScoop.

The study results provide potential comprehension on how the problem is changing, and what direction it may take in the future, even though the tendencies are not easily understood.

This is a stark contrast to the 114th Congress, which only saw a modest 22 bills regarding cybersecurity.

In the most recent term, a total of 14 cybersecurity bills were passed into law, which is a notable increase from the 11 bills passed in the prior session. These laws contained many of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s suggested policies, such as the legislation that set baseline standards for IoT devices purchased by the federal government.

Garcia, a senior policy advisor at Third Way, observed that the rise in the number of bills proposed showed that legislators are becoming more adept with cyber security in general.

The amount of bills that were passed concerning cybersecurity in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic is more than just eleven.

The heightened recognition of cyber danger from China, Iran, North Korea and Russia led to a rise in the number of cyber bills connected to foreign policy to 48.

Garcia noted that Congress may have viewed the creation of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure and Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security in the prior session of Congress as a basis to which they could add further.

Study US Congress Starks Cyberscoop

Jim Lewis, a cybersecurity specialist from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, believes that the figure of bills presented by the Third Way may not be that useful.

He declared that it doesn’t matter unless it passes. As far as cybersecurity goes, Congress’ accomplishments weren’t unlike those in other areas, because the number of bills being made into law has been shrinking recently: “It’s a product of dysfunction.”

Lewis noted that legislators may use this information as a way to boost their public image by responding to current events.

He commented that if the Times and the Post had publicized for half a year that asparagus was essential, then lawmakers would be pushing out a hundred bills. It’s all about the flavor of the moment and representatives want to introduce legislation that has that flavor. It may seem like policy, but it’s actually just politics.

Jokingly, he said it was an advantage for the country when “legislators had the ability to spell ‘cybersecurity'”.

Garcia noted that the number that they provided is not a full representation. According to one source, the most recent version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contained 77 cybersecurity provisions.

Garcia highlighted the state of cybersecurity by referring to it as a kind of militarization, before mentioning a Third Way project that will further analyze the impact of the National Defense Authorization Act on the realm of cybersecurity.

Third Way identified further deficiencies in the attention paid by Congress to cyber security.

Congress has been devoting more attention to cyber-related matters; however, there is still a large gap in the legislative focus on cyber enforcement, which includes pinpointing, ceasing, and punishing malicious cyber perpetrators, according to the analysis.

Starks Cyberscoop

The study found that over half of the bills introduced had the support of both political parties, although election security was an issue that often split the two sides. Garcia commented that the bipartisanship seen in the cyber realm is a reflection of Congress’s tendency to be more unified when it comes to national security matters.

Lewis remarked that Congress has had a tendency to clash with Russia, which is one of the most serious cyber threats to the U.S. Republicans have sided with President Donald Trump in regards to election security and contend with Russia in Congress, due to his disapproval of the idea that the Kremlin aided his election win in 2016. “That could potentially alter as the Trump administration fades away,” Lewis declared.

Garcia foresaw that the SolarWinds hack may lead to the passage of laws during the 117th session of Congress. Additionally, the new Democratic leadership of the Senate Homeland Security Committee has expressed a desire to assist state and local governments with cyber security.

Garcia expressed confidence that Congress would eventually pass a national data breach notification law, something they have attempted to do for over a decade. He noted that numerous influential legislators have publicly backed the concept of such a law.

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