While the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and the physical security ramifications from that day remains, very much, a partisan issue, the issue of cybersecurity seems to be an issue capable of more easily garnering bipartisan support. Over the course of the last two months, at least 18 bills (many with bipartisan support) have been introduced in a sign that cybersecurity is (and for the foreseeable future will remain) a priority. These bills range in focus, with many directed toward focusing attention on specific industries (particularly in the telecom and energy sectors) as well as building literacy among the US population on cybersecurity issues and best practices.
The volume of new bills is not the only indication of how much of a priority cybersecurity is at the federal level. The Senate Armed Services Committee last week passed its version of the 2022 defense authorization bill, which proposes noticeable increases for cybersecurity budgets and requirements for the defense sector, thus signaling that the future of national security lies in the cloud and not on the ground. To this point, the proposed bill would direct the Department of Defense to assess its ability to defend against a cyberattack and to conduct a pilot study to examine the “viability of teaming with internet ecosystem companies to discover and disrupt the use of their platforms, systems, services, and infrastructure by malicious cyber actors.”
Nixon Peabody’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Team will continue to monitor developments.