Peters Introduces Amendments to Cybersecurity Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced he has introduced three amendments to the bipartisan Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, legislation that facilitates information sharing between the federal government and the private sector to help defend against cyber threats and prevent future attacks. Peters’ amendments encourage information sharing and collaboration with state, local and tribal governments, and promote cybersecurity awareness and education.

Peters’ first amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security to collaborate with state, local and tribal governments on procedures for sharing information about cyber threats and to promote cooperation to help prevent, limit, respond to and recover from cybersecurity attacks.

“State and local governments in Michigan are leading the way in cybersecurity practices, working to prevent data breaches, educate consumers and train employees to recognize indicators of potential threats,” said Senator Peters. “My amendment will ensure that the federal government is working together with state, local and tribal entities to thwart the more than 730,000 cyber attacks Michigan sees every day.”

Peters’ second amendment directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a cybersecurity awareness campaign to raise awareness of cybersecurity risks for groups that are likely targets for attacks, including the elderly, students, small businesses, members of the armed forces and veterans. The awareness campaign would also educate audiences on the best practices to prevent and respond to these risks.

“When it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is the best medicine,” said Senator Peters. “We must ensure that consumers across the country are aware of the cybersecurity risks they face on a daily basis and that they are armed with the tools and information to secure their personal information and protect themselves in the case of a cyber attack.”

Peters’ third amendment would require DHS and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to develop a certification for existing cybersecurity and information assurance education programs that provide training in proper procedure for sharing cyber threat information while protecting sensitive personally identifying information.

“We need a well-trained cyber workforce that understands not only how to handle a potential cyber threat, but also how to protect personal information that can be exposed when responding to a threat,” Senator Peters added. “As government agencies and companies work together to share information that can prevent future attacks, we must ensure that cybersecurity employees are trained to understand the appropriate procedures for dealing with sensitive data.”