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CISA Granted Subpoena Power as Cyber Incident Reporting Bill Signed into Law

There are so many important headlines we do not want to get lost ‘below the fold’ for our membership, and this update is one of those headlines.

On March 2nd, overshadowed by the State of the Union that evening, the Senate unanimously passed the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act, which was actually various bills made into one piece of legislation.

A vital piece of the consolidated legislation was a cyber incident reporting bill, mandating critical infrastructure owners notify the Homeland Security Department within 72 hours of a hack and 24 hours if the organization made a ransomware payment.

After the Senate approval, “attention turned to the House, where the supporters of the cyber incident reporting mandate vowed to get the legislation to the president’s desk.   However, they predicted the measure would likely have to be attached to another, must-pass piece of legislation, like the annual defense policy roadmap.”  (2)

On March 11th, “lawmakers approved the bill…as part of a sweeping $1.5 trillion government funding deal. The House passed the legislation earlier [in the] week.” (3)

On March 15th, all these efforts came to fruition as President Biden signed the cyber incident reporting bill into law.

Predictions that the act would need to be attached to a critical piece of legislation for passage were correct, as “The Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act…was attached to the spending deal that keeps the federal government open until September…. [the act] requires that critical infrastructure operators alert the Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within 72 hours of a breach and 24 hours if the organization made a ransomware payment.” (1)

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.