Photo: Mark W. Clark

Photo: Mark W. Clark

The House Thursday unanimously passed S. 2519, the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 which the Senate passed earlier this week, as well as Senate amendment to H.R. 2952, the Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act -- both bipartisan legislation to strengthen the nation’s cyber defenses, reports HS Today.

Legislators said this is the most significant cyber bill to pass Congress in over a decade.

"The cyber bills passed this week are a historic moment in the fight against cyber attacks," said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas). "Every day, Americans’ private information is lost in criminal data breaches like those at Target and Home Depot. Nation-state actors, such as Russia, China and Iran, are increasingly hacking into US companies and government networks to conduct espionage or steal intellectual property. In fact, former director of the NSA, General Keith Alexander described this loss of IP as ‘the greatest transfer of wealth in history.’ However, the most malicious threat is from those who wish to do our country harm by shutting down our power grid, energy or water systems."

"With the passage of these bipartisan and bicameral bills, we can protect our vital digital private and government networks from daily attacks from foreign enemies across the globe by encouraging and supporting federal and private sector threat sharing," McCaul said. "These bills are a significant step in the right direction, and my colleagues have shown that cybersecurity is a priority for this Congress. But there is more work to be done."

The National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 codifies the existing cybersecurity and communications operations center at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), known as the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.

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