Ratcliffe plans to introduce bipartisan cybersecurity-enhancement legislation

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) this week plans to introduce a bipartisan bill to expand the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which the department says provides cybersecurity tools, integration services and dashboards to participating agencies to help them improve their own cybersecurity.

“As cyber threats continue to increase in frequency and complexity, we must constantly work to enhance our nation’s cyber defense capabilities,” Rep. Ratcliffe said on Tuesday.

The congressman will introduce the Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act with U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) to authorize the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a CDM program in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of DHS, according to the text of the bill.

The legislation aims to codify the CDM program at DHS and expand CDM capabilities to additional agencies at the federal, state and local level, according to Rep. Ratcliffe’s office, which noted that the bill will be identical to the same-named S. 2318, which U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced on July 30.

“I’m pleased to be joined by Congressman Khanna and Senators Cornyn and Hassan in our efforts to improve America’s cybersecurity posture by codifying the CDM program and making it available to more agencies at all levels of government,” said Rep. Ratcliffe.

If enacted, the measure also would direct DHS to deploy new CDM technologies to continuously evolve the program; require that CDM program capabilities also be made available for use to civilian departments and agencies, as well as state, local and tribal governments; and would mandate that DHS develop a strategy to ensure the program continues to adjust to the cyber-threat landscape, according to the bill’s text.