U.S. House pushes cross-party bill to prevent attacks on critical infrastructure

As the U.S. nation remains alarmed by the hack of the Colonial Pinpeline network, which has led to fuel shortages on the U.S. East Coast, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (R-Mich.) and a cross-party team in the House of Representatives introduced a bill Friday, May 14, called the “The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Cyber Exercise Act (CISA Cyber Exercise Act), a bill to prevent another attack on U.S. critical infrastructure, was introduced Friday, May 14.

Rep. Snotkin, a Michigan Republican, announced in a statement on the 14th that she filed the bill to prevent a situation like the attack on the Coronel Pipeline network from happening again because of the potential for such an attack to disrupt the U.S. economy and way of life. Snortkin has served as a CIA analyst and Pentagon official.

The bill calls for the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency to establish a national cyber exercise program to test the response of critical infrastructure across the United States to major cyber incidents. Under this program, the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Directorate would develop a set of exercise models that would be made available to provinces, local governments, and private industry to test the security posture of the agencies’ critical infrastructures. In addition to assisting in the design of these exercise models, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Directorate will assist governments and businesses in implementing these exercises and evaluating the results of the exercises.

Slotkin said, “This week’s attack on the Coronel Pipeline network clearly demonstrates that cybersecurity is no longer a technical issue, but rather a core issue of protecting what powers our daily lives as Americans, and we must ensure that America’s federal government works hand-in-hand with state and local authorities and private industry to stop these attacks from happening again and to minimize the minimize the impact of these attacks.”

Also cosponsoring the bill are Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), senior member of the House National Security Committee’s Cybersecurity Committee, and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Cyber Committee.