Legislation Would Protect Data Centers From Cyberattacks, Natural Disasters, & Terrorism

WASHINGTON, DCToday, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), along with HSGAC Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI), announced their introduction of the bipartisan Federal Data Center Enhancement Act of 2022 to ensure that federal agencies have secure, reliable, and protected data facilities that are safe from cyberattacks, natural disasters and terrorist attacks. These data centers are the physical facilities where federal agencies store critical data and host key IT and cybersecurity infrastructure.

“With the increasing threat of cyberattacks and natural disasters, we must ensure the integrity of our nation’s critical information by protecting data centers like Switch in Las Vegas,” said Senator Rosen. “This bipartisan bill will enact a new set of security and resiliency standards to keep our data safe.”

“The sensitive information stored on federal systems cannot be left open to vulnerabilities like cyberattacks or natural disasters,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation would help secure federal data and encourage optimization, which will save taxpayer dollars and protect Americans who entrust their information to the federal government.” 

“The federal government is responsible for storing considerable amounts of sensitive and personal information – including credit card and social security numbers. We must ensure this data is stored securely and used in a way that does not violate civil rights and liberties,” said Senator Peters. “This important, bipartisan legislation will ensure that new and existing federal data centers are protected from cyber-attacks, catastrophic weather events, and other potential disasters.”

“The Federal Data Center Enhancement Act recognizes that federal government data centers should meet high standards for resiliency, sustainability, and availability,” said Betsy Fretwell, Executive Vice President for Strategy at Switch, a data center headquartered in Las Vegas. “Switch takes pride in building the world’s most advanced, secure, and sustainable data centers and applauds Senator Rosen’s work to reduce the unnecessary risk of taxpayers losing access to important data provided by the federal government due to substandard data centers.”

The bipartisan Federal Data Center Enhancement Act of 2022 requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to coordinate a government-wide effort to develop strong minimum requirements for federal data centers related to cyber intrusions, data center availability, mission-critical uptime, and resilience against physical attacks, wildfires, and other natural disasters. Since 2010, more than 6,000 federal data centers have been consolidated with a resulting cost savings and cost avoidance of $5.8 billion. The Federal Data Center Enhancement Act of 2022 builds on this success, shifting the policy focus from consolidation to optimization, security, and resiliency.

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