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House Committee Approves Bill that Seeks to Codify DHS Cybersecurity Program

John Ratcliffe

The House Homeland Security Committee passed a measure that will codify an important cybersecurity program at the Department of Homeland Security, The Hill reported Tuesday.

The proposed legislation, filed by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, would permit the DHS Secretary to formalize the structure and organization of the Continuous Diagnostics Mitigation program at the DHS, which seeks to secure federal networks from the threat of cyber dangers.

The proposed Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act was approved a few weeks after the Office of Management and Budget reported that 75 percent of federal networks are susceptible to cyberattacks.

DHS first introduced the CDM program in 2012 to help keep federal.gov networks free from threats of cyberattack. The department decided to roll out the program in four phases, with the first phase dealing with identifying the quality of protective software that federal agencies use.

Earlier this year, the government awarded a potential six-year, $621 million contract to Booz Allen Hamilton to commence activity on the next three CDM phases.

The bill would also mandate the DHS to inform Congress of whether the four-phase plan is the best approach to execute CDM, as per the amendment added by Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., during the committee’s deliberation of the measure.

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