Senate Unanimously Approves Cybersecurity Legislation

Senate, cybersecurity act

The U.S. Senate has approved new cybersecurity legislation that will make it so infrastructure organizations have to report cyberattacks within 72 hours and ransomware payments within one day, ZDNet reported Wednesday (March 2).

Organizations will have to report these things to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

The act, called the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act, was passed by unanimous consent on Wednesday after originally being proposed Feb. 8 by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The act comes with provisions intended to modernize the federal government’s cybersecurity posture, with officials saying this was highly necessary.

In addition, the act makes it so the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program will be authorized for five years to ensure that federal agencies can “quickly and securely adopt cloud-based technologies that improve government operations and efficiency.” Additionally, it will streamline federal cybersecurity laws to help facilitate greater coordination.

Ahead of the vote, Portman tweeted on Monday (March 1) that he was concerned “that, as our nation rightly continues to support #Ukraine during Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable assault, the US will face increased cyber & ransomware attacks from Russia.”

He added that quick action was necessary. The legislation will head to the House for a vote, and then will be on the desk of President Joe Biden.

Portman and Peters said they had been working with chair of the House Oversight Committee Carolyn Maloney, alongside lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, to get it passed. Maloney also said the bill was one of her big priorities in legislating for now.

Cyberattacks have been prevalent for the duration of the pandemic. Recently, PYMNTS wrote that Toyota has said it plans to suspend production at a Japanese factory following an attack.

See also: Cyberattack Forces Closure of Toyota’s Japanese Factories

The attack brought on a loss of around 13,000 cars, according to reports. Officials said they planned to investigate who was involved in the attack.