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Press Release Published: Apr 20, 2012

FISMA Enhancement Legislation Gains Momentum in House

Speaker, Majority Leader and Cybersecurity Task Force Chairman Announce FISMA Inclusion in Broader Security Package
WASHINGTON. D.C.—Bipartisan legislation to enhance the Federal Information Security Amendments Act (FISMA) by improving the framework for securing federal information technology (IT) systems moved towards passage in the House of Representatives today as leaders announced a vote next week on a broad package of cybersecurity bills.  The bill updates FISMA and is known as the Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012.
Introduced by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the bill establishes a mechanism for stronger oversight through a focus on automated and continuous monitoring of cybersecurity threats and the implementation of regular threat assessments.
“This bipartisan bill is the result of a collaborative effort with public and private sector partners all focused on solving the nation’s IT security crisis,” Chairman Issa said. ”The decision by Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor and House Cybersecurity Task Force Chairman Mac Thornberry to include this legislation the House’s cybersecurity agenda expedites efforts to address critical national security challenges in cyberspace.”
“Congress understands that some of our nation’s greatest security threats come from cyber attacks, Chairman Issa added.  “FISMA has become a compliance activity, even at times when compliance appeared to take precedence over security.  This bill provides necessary enhancements and helps arm government to meet—and overcome—cyber attacks.”
Currently, federal agencies struggle with cybersecurity threats, and this update to FISMA will include new developments in technological innovation achieved since FISMA first took effect.  The bill also makes corrections to FISMA shortcomings addressed during hearings held by the Oversight and other congressional committees as well as from expert observers.  In addition to this input, the bill was posted and public input was sought via the MADISON platform.  Through this web resource, the public could view the legislation, suggest changes and vote on the changes suggested by others.
The bill can be viewed at on the MADISON platform.

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