WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — U.S. banks are bracing for retaliatory cyberattacks after Western nations slapped a raft of stringent sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, cyber experts and executives said.
U.S. Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska introduced H.R. 5658, the DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Cyber Space Act, which would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to access a cyber incident response plan and procedures.
Bacon is now asking lawmakers to fast-track that bill to help America’s private sector survive interference from Russian hackers by requiring homeland security to review its cyber-response policy and recommend any fixes or modernization.
“This bill directs the federal government to help private industry and our private infrastructure — whether it’s energy, electrical grid, whether it’s our financial sector. It directs the federal government to help protect these industries from cyberattack from Russia, primarily,” Bacon explained.
Bacon said following the Colonial Pipeline and the JBS meat processing plant ransomware attacks, they found that private companies don’t have the ability to stand up to a high-end Russian cyberattack.
He said the federal government needs to have a game plan for defending the private sector.
“So, we need to help this private industry defend themselves. If not, we have very important sectors in America vulnerable — they’re paying ransom,” Bacon said. “So, we’ve got to intervene here and do better.”
Bacon also said they found under recent attacks over the past year that there was confusion at the federal government level about their role to protect private industries.
So, what exactly is the government’s role in protecting these industries? Bacon said that’s what his bill will help clarify.
“We want to clarify that we went to make it crystal clear there is a role. We want to delineate responsibilities within the government itself,” he said.
Bacon said he introduced the bill last summer and it came out of committee with unanimous approval; now, he’s waiting for it to be voted on.