Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), urges Congress to act fast on securing critical infrastructure. (Mike Morones/Defense News)
The Department of Homeland Security would not be able to receive any new cybersecurity authority under legislation passed unanimously Feb. 4 by the House Homeland Security Committee.
The National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection (NCCIP) Act of 2013 would instead focus on public-private partnerships to help protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats.
The legislation would also:
■ Codify into law ‘Cyber Incident Response Teams’ to provide timely technical assistance and crisis management to critical infrastructure owners.
■ Amend existing law to allow private entities to voluntarily submit their cybersecurity procedures to gain liability protections in the event they suffer a cyber attack.
■ Require the real-time sharing of cyber threat information across critical sectors and industries.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the committee, said cyber attacks are on the rise and Congress cannot wait for a major attack on an industry such as the electrical grid before taking action.
He added the legislation “establishes equal cybersecurity partnerships between private industry and DHS, while ensuring Americans’ civil liberties are protected.