Lawmakers call on civilian reserves to strengthen federal cyber defense

A bipartisan group of legislators is proposing the creation of a civilian reserve as a support against cyber and ransomware attacks against federal agencies.

The bill is led by the House of Representatives. Tony GonzalezRobin Kelly, a Republican of Texas and a Democrat of Illinois, will set up a national digital reserve team of private cyber experts under the General Services Administration. It will provide the federal government with a professional knowledge base for selecting projects.

“As we have seen from the many cyber and ransomware attacks this year, the U.S. government currently lacks access to digital expertise,” Mr. Matt said. Gonzalez, who served as a senior ranking cryptologist in the Navy before being elected to Congress. “The organization of the National Digital Reserve is committed to filling this gap with private industry experts serving our federal government and our national security.”

Reservists will make a commitment within three years, which will be detailed by the GSA to various federal agencies to work on federal government projects for 30 days in each calendar year.

The recent wave of high-profile cyber and ransomware attacks targeting critical infrastructure has raised alarms in Congress and the entire federal government. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Majorcas, told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee this week that cyber threats “remain one of the most prominent threats facing our country.”

In 2020, the number of ransomware in the Department of Homeland Security increased by 311% over the previous year, and nearly 2,400 targeted attacks caused approximately US$350 million in damages.

“The federal government and our private sector partners must be prepared to respond to and recover from cyber incidents, maintain critical functions even under deteriorating conditions, and in some cases, quickly restart critical functions after interruptions,” Mayo Mr. Cass said.

FBI Director Christopher Ray told the same team that the bureau is currently investigating “more than 100 different types of ransomware, each with dozens of victims.”

gentlemen. Gonzalez Indicates that most of the federal cyber expertise is in the Department of Defense or National Security Agency, but he Said that other federal and municipal institutions remain vulnerable. he Said his The bill will provide a deeper workbench for federal agencies that may lack expertise.

“The National Digital Reserve Force is an innovative solution that helps the federal government meet its cybersecurity and digital needs, while giving reservists the opportunity to gain valuable experience and receive additional training to improve their skills,” said Ms. Kelly.

The bill was proposed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022. The bill is currently an annual defense policy bill in the House of Representatives and has received support from more than 30 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

Later on Tuesday, the House of Representatives began debating nearly 500 amendments to the NDAA.

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