National Office for Cyberspace and H.R. 4900

A funny thing happened along the way while I was busy revising and adding content to the HORSE Wiki. My focus last week was primarily on Federal guidance such as NIST special publications and FISMA guidelines. Well apparently there are more folks tuned into that station it turns out when a very close government colleague turned me on to this article.

Rep. Watson Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Federal Information Security Policy

Rep. Diane E. Watson, the Chairwoman of the House Government Management, Organization, and Procurement Subcommittee, recently introduced legislation designed to strengthen and harmonize the federal government’s efforts to ensure the integrity of its information infrastructure. The bill, titled “The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2010,” would amend the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002.

Specifically, Watson’s legislation (H.R. 4900) would:

  • establish a National Office for Cyberspace within the Executive Office of the President;
  • require that the Director of the National Office for Cyberspace, to be appointed by the President, be subject to Senate confirmation;
  • revamp FISMA reporting requirements, requiring agencies to utilize new and automated monitoring and measuring capabilities to assess their vulnerabilities to cyber threats; and
  • instruct OMB and agencies to incorporate information security into their procurement decisions.

“Cyber threats against the Federal Government, as well as the U.S. Congress, have grown exponentially over the last year,” stated Watson. “Congress and other government agencies are now under a cyber attack an average of 1.8 billion times a month. The magnitude of the problem indicates that we must take this issue much more seriously if we want to sufficiently protect against and avert the potential for a major cyber meltdown within the federal government that could have far-reaching national security and economic implications. The fact that GAO’s latest report to Congress finds that 23 out of 24 agencies still have significant weaknesses in their agency wide information security programs is an indication to me that we need to devote more attention and resources to this issue. I believe H.R. 4900 provides us a way forward to reducing our cyber risk across the agency community while instilling policy leadership on cybersecurity at the highest levels of our government.”

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

You can read the article for yourself here:

Cyber Czar is officially defined as point B for me on my personal career progression plan. I’d love to make a difference for our country.