Wicker, Gardner unveil bipartisan bill to bolster U.S. cybersecurity

U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) recently offered bipartisan legislation that sets out to achieve high-priority breakthroughs in America’s cybersecurity by 2028.

Sen. Wicker on May 13 sponsored the Cybersecurity Competitions to Yield Better Efforts to Research the Latest Exceptionally Advanced Problems Act of 2020, or the CYBER LEAP Act of 2020, with original cosponsors Sen. Gardner and U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV). The measure would establish “grand challenges” toward making such cybersecurity breakthroughs.

“I am pleased to introduce the CYBER LEAP Act of 2020, which would foster innovation through cybersecurity competitions,” Sen. Wicker said. “These prize-based contests are designed to increase collaboration between the public and private sectors and academia in order to develop cutting-edge ideas in cybersecurity.”

If enacted, S. 3712 would require the U.S. Commerce Secretary to establish grand challenges under several titles, including Economics Of A Cyber Attack, Cyber Training; Emerging Technology, Reimagining Digital Identity, and Federal Agency Resilience, among others, according to the text of the bill.

“We need dynamic and ambitious solutions for cybersecurity,” said Sen. Gardner. “This legislation would help foster innovation and collaboration as the public, private and academic sectors work together to address the cybersecurity challenges of our time. We all must work together to protect our critical infrastructure and personal information.”

Additionally, S. 3712 would leverage open innovation authorities to hold the series of prize competitions and allow funding for them to be pooled from multiple federal agencies and non-federal entities, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Wicker’s office.

“This legislation would be instrumental in encouraging American ingenuity and I am eager to see it advance,” said Sen. Wicker.