Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Monday introduced the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act, legislation that would strengthen cybersecurity protecting the agriculture and food critical infrastructure sectors. The bill will identify vulnerabilities and improve protective measures of both the government and private groups against cyber threats.
Cosponsoring the legislation are Senators Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Katie Britt (R-AL), John Barrasso (R-WY), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Mike Rounds (R-SD). Congressman Brad Finstad (MN-01) and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-07) are introducing companion legislation in the House.
The Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act would:
- Direct the Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, to conduct a study every two years of the cybersecurity threat to, and vulnerabilities in, the agriculture and food sectors and submit a report to Congress.
- Direct the Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, as well as the Director of National Intelligence, to conduct an annual cross-sector crisis simulation exercise for food-related cyber emergencies or disruptions.
Supporting the legislation are the American Farm Bureau Federation, North American Millers Association, National Grain and Feed Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, USA Rice, Agricultural Retailers Association, American Sugar Alliance, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Protecting our nation’s farms and food security against cyberattacks is a vital component of our national security,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act is a crucial step toward preparing our nation’s agriculture sector to respond to potential cyberattacks. I am committed to ensuring our American agriculture sector is ready to defend against these cyber threats and look forward to working with my colleagues to get this important bill passed.”
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