President Approves Bipartisan Effort to Strengthen U.S. Nuclear Cybersecurity Standards – edhat | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Bipartisan measure led by Reps. Carbajal, Bacon, and Gallagher included in year-end defense policy bill seeks to close gaps identified by independent review of U.S. nuclear systems

Last week, President Joe Biden signed into law language championed by Congressmen Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Don Bacon (NE-02) and Mike Gallagher (WI-08) to strengthen the cybersecurity practices for the United States’ nuclear weapons system.

Reports from the Government Accountability Office published in September 2022 and June 2023 found that the National Nuclear System Administration was delinquent in fully implementing federally-recommended cybersecurity practices.

The legislation first proposed earlier this year and approved today will set up a Cybersecurity Risk Inventory, Assessment, and Mitigation Working Group within the Department of Defense, requiring them to inventory nuclear systems at risk, and develop and implement a strategy for meeting the recommendations of the GAO report.

“There are some causes that may not seem worth Congress’ time at first glance. Closing gaps in the cybersecurity practices of our nation’s nuclear systems is not one of them,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I am glad that this bipartisan proposal received bipartisan support throughout our push for its inclusion this year, and that President Biden has also recognized that our proposal is a straightforward pathway to ensuring we have no reason to doubt the security of our most dangerous weapon systems.”

“Our nuclear forces are the backbone of our Nation’s strategic deterrence,” said Rep. Bacon. “We should put every effort into protecting our nuclear arsenal and be vigilant about cybersecurity risks. I thank Rep. Carbajal for leading this important amendment with me so that we can have confidence in the security of our nuclear weapons.”

“A ready and resilient nuclear force is critical to American deterrence. I am proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan effort to ensure that the systems keeping our nuclear forces capable are cyber secure—free from adversarial interference and prepared for action at all times,” said Rep. Gallagher.

The Working Group would be required to brief the Congress within 120 days of the enactment of the proposed language, and submit a completed strategy to the Armed Services committees by April 1, 2025.

The bipartisan proposal was included as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (Section 3113).


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