The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009 with a vote of 422-5.
The bill reauthorizes computer and network research and development programs to the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The bill improves cybersecurity in the federal, private and public sectors through better coordination in federal cybersecurity research and development activities.
“This is an important first step,” said Committee Member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX). “Every critical infrastructure is tied to cyber networks whether it be our utilities, power grids, financial institutions, air traffic controllers. Virtually every sector is vulnerable. I hope as with 9/11 we don’t turn a blind eye and have a denial of service attack before we address this issue.”
The bill also strengthens the cybersecurity workforce and prioritizes cyber research and development.
“We are all aware that the importance of cybersecurity has grown dramatically in recent years, as most of the critical systems upon which we depend–from telecommunications to electricity to banking and commerce– rely on secure and reliable computing,” said Science and Technology Committee Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX). “I also want to note my appreciation for what this bill doesn’t do. It avoids calling for any activities that could amount to being regulatory in nature, which could actually be counterproductive to security.”