Senators Introduce New “Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act”
While personal responsibility goes a long way in preventing cybersecurity attacks, so too does legislative action. The more we can shore up our security from the top, the better off the entire system is. That’s why it’s intriguing to see a new bill from the Senate this week, titled the “Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act.” This bill comes from Senators
January 30, 2024
While personal responsibility goes a long way in preventing cybersecurity attacks, so too does legislative action. The more we can shore up our security from the top, the better off the entire system is.
That’s why it’s intriguing to see a new bill from the Senate this week, titled the “Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act.” This bill comes from Senators Kristin Gillibrand of New York and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, with an aim to “strengthen cybersecurity protecting the agriculture and food critical infrastructure sectors.”
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) are also co-sponsoring this bill, while Congressman Brad Finstad (MN-01) and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-07) are working to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
What does the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act do?
The bill, short at seven pages long, directs the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study every other year of the cybersecurity threats facing the agriculture and food critical infrastructure sector. This includes cyberattack that have happened, attacks that could happen, how attacks would affect the economies of these sectors as well as the availability of food stock for the US, among other vulnerabilities and areas of relevance.
This study will be turned into a report that will be sent to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate; the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives; and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives.
In addition, the agency will conduct a crisis simulation for food-related emergencies every five years to assess preparedness, look for vulnerabilities, and all around shore up security in our food sector. These simulations will be designed with feedback by experts in the field, run through realistic scenarios, and involve individuals from all areas of the sector, including Federal, State, Tribal, local, and private sector.
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