US Senate Passes Cybersecurity Act to Protect Critical Infrastructure

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

On Tuesday, the US Senate unanimously approved a new Cybersecurity Act said to increase the security of critical infrastructure in the country.

The legislation was introduced on Feb. 8 by Senators Rob Portman and Gary Peters, who chair the Homeland Security Committee.

According to legislators, critical infrastructure organizations will be forced to report ransomware payments within 24 hours to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and cyber incidents within 72 hours.

Additionally, organizations impacted by cyberattacks must preserve and swiftly share relevant data with authorities by updating a “previously submitted covered cyber incident report if substantial new or different information becomes available or if the covered entity makes a ransom payment after submitting a covered cyber incident report.”

The newly approved act contains several measures to strengthen the federal government’s cybersecurity infrastructure. The three bills the act is made up of (all authored by Peters and Portman) include the Cyber Incident Reporting Act (CIRA), the Federal Secure Cloud Improvement and Jobs Act (FSCIJA), and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

While the 200-page “Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act” has been approved by the Senate, it still needs to be passed by the House to officially be signed into law.

Portman said adopting the legislation is crucial in light of US support for Ukraine, expressing concern over the country facing “increased cyber & ransomware attacks from Russia.”

“This bipartisan legislation will work to hold these bad actors accountable and enable a whole-of-government response, mitigation, and warning to critical infrastructure and others of ongoing and imminent attacks,” Portman added in a tweet.

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.