New Bill Aims to Improve Senate’s Cybersecurity Posture

Senate hearing Congressional-min

A bipartisan bill introduced today in the Senate would support cybersecurity assistance to help senators and their staff members protect their personal devices from attackers.

The Senate Cybersecurity Protection Act, introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would allow the Senate Sergeant at Arms to provide assistance to protect personal devices. While the Sergeant at Arms is responsible for the cybersecurity of government-owned devices, the office has stated that it cannot use public funds to ensure the security of personal devices under current policy.

The move comes after reports that Russian hackers have targeted the personal devices of politicians, including those in the Senate.

“Hackers don’t differentiate between the official and personal devices of elected officials and their staff. The Senate doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring the changing landscape of cyber-attacks,” said Wyden in a statement.

The bill also includes a requirement for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide an annual report on cyber threats to the legislative branch.

“Our bill will ensure that our cyber defenses are hardened as we continue to do the work of our constituents here in the Senate,” said Cotton.

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