WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs (HSGAC), released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the House version of her bipartisan Cyber Sense Act, which she introduced with Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Angus King (ME-I), James Risch (R-ID), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) last month.
The bipartisan legislation – an identical version of which was introduced in the House by Representatives Bob Latta (R-OH) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) – would create a voluntary Cyber Sense program at the Department of Energy to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk-power system.
“The need to strengthen the defenses of our nation’s electric infrastructure could not be more clear. If we do not act to address the surge in cyberattacks, we risk leaving our nation vulnerable,” said Senator Rosen. “I am glad to see that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed an identical version of my bipartisan legislation, and I urge the Senate to take up this needed bill for a vote. Together, we can equip our workforce and organizations with the skills needed to improve our nation’s grid resiliency.”
BACKGROUND: Specifically, the bipartisan Cyber Sense Act would:
- Create a voluntary Department of Energy ‘Cyber Sense’ program that would identify and promote cyber-secure products for use in the bulk-power system.
- Establish a testing process for the products along with a reporting process of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
- Require the Secretary of Energy to keep a related database on the products, which will aid electric utilities that are evaluating products and their potential to cause harm to the electric grid.
- Direct the Secretary of Energy to consider incentives to encourage the use of analysis and results of testing under the program in the design of products and technologies for use in the bulk-power system.