Key Cybersecurity Program Approved by House Homeland Security Committee

A bill that will codify a key cybersecurity program at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was approved by the House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday.

According to The Hill, the bill, introduced by Republican Representative John Ratcliffe, would give the Secretary of DHS the authority to establish the Continuous Diagnostics Mitigation (CDM) program at DHS, which aims to protect federal networks from cyber attacks.

“The Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation has been one of the DHS’s top priorities because it has the potential to dramatically increase our visibility across federal networks,” Ratcliffe said. “Many of us believe the program has the ability to provide the information necessary to make better decisions, not only to combat our enemies in cyberspace, but also to help federal [Chief Information Officers] manage information technology.”

The Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act comes several weeks after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) concluded that most of the cyber agencies are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

“OMB found that almost 75 percent of federal agencies are vulnerable to cyber threats in large part due to their inability to understand cyber risks, and therefore their inability to prioritize their resources,” the Texas lawmaker said.

Ratcliffe also said that the DHS CDM program is the “best” way to solve the problem, adding that it will help the agencies to understand the threats and risks they face, as well as the vulnerabilities posed in real time.

“Codifying the CDM program will further DHS’ role in the cybersecurity mission throughout the government and give the newly confirmed Undersecretary of NPPD — [Christopher] Krebs — the kind of ammunition he needs to keep growing this important program,” he said.

The CDM program was first started by the DHS in 2012 as a way to better protect the federal networks against cyber attacks.

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