Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, reintroduced a bill that would support the National Guard in helping state and local governments improve their cybersecurity, citing “the SolarWinds attack and continued cyberattacks connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We have seen unprecedented cyberattacks throughout the country this past year – most notably the SolarWinds attack, but also cyberattacks on schools, hospitals, and state and local governments amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hassan said in a Jan. 28 press release.

“These attacks can be just as devastating as emergencies that the National Guard already provides assistance with, which is why Senator Cornyn and I are working together across the aisle to ensure that states are able to utilize the impressive expertise that our National Guard members have in order to strengthen state and local cyber resiliency,” Hassan added.

The bill was originally introduced in October 2020, but never passed. The senators are again urging the Federal government to take action to protect state and local governments from cyberattacks.

“The National Guard fights to protect Americans from cybersecurity threats every day, and it is essential that they have the authority to provide support to state agencies and local governments working to keep us safe online,” Cornyn said. “By ensuring the National Guard is able to work with states and localities to improve their cyber infrastructure, we can make sure the U.S. stays one step ahead of bad actors.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.