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Proposed Bill to Elevate CISA’s Role in Securing Industrial Control Systems

Cybersecurity and

Infrastructure Security


Proposed Bill to Elevate CISA’s Role in Securing Industrial Control Systems

Lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill that would elevate the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s role in protecting industrial control systems.

The Department of Homeland Security Industrial Control Systems Enhancement Act of 2021 would mandate CISA’s director to help the private sector and federal government agencies monitor threats to industrial control systems, FCW said.

“These systems operate many vital components of our nation’s critical infrastructure and remain under constant attack from cyber criminals and nation state actors,” said Rep. John Katko, the bill’s principal proponent.

Industrial control systems refer to integrated hardware and software designed to control machines and devices in industrial environments, according to a TechTarget contributor.

Because such systems often support critical infrastructure, they cannot easily be shut down for security updates. Industrial control systems also often do not have enough computing resources to run anti-malware software, TechTarget added.

Chris Brooks, a technology journalist with Digital Guardian, explained that industrial control systems allow operators to easily manage, monitor and control processes that involve distributed control systems, remote terminal units, programmable logic controllers and other such technologies.

Under the terms of Katko’s bill, CISA would be required to provide vulnerability information to appropriate private sector and government organizations that use industrial control systems.

The bill would also direct CISA to brief the Committee on Homeland Security every six months for the next four years on the DHS’s industrial control system capabilities.

The piece of legislation is co-sponsored by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and several other subcommittee chairs and members of the committee. 

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Category: Cybersecurity