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Mikulski and Cardin Introduce Amendments to Cybersecurity Bill

Mikulski & Cardin 450x280Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski introduced two amendments to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) to provide additional protections to federal workers and to expand security of federal cyber systems.

The first amendment will provide Office of Personnel Management (OPM) with an additional $37 million to accelerate the completion of scheduled improvements to network systems and IT infrastructure one year ahead of schedule.

This comes after federal employees were affected by recent data breaches at OPM.

According to a release from Mikulski’s office, without these amendments, CISA does not do enough to protect federal employees whose data has been exposed in OPM data breaches or to accelerate the protection of OPM data.

“OPM’s latest data breaches compromised the personal data of at least 22 million men and women working in government, serving in the military or working as contractors. They are federal employees, retirees, their families and applicants for jobs that require background checks,” Mikulski said in a news release.

Their second amendment to the cybersecurity legislation provides federal employees- whose personal information may have been compromised in the data breaches- with lifetime credit-monitoring services, ID theft protection and restoration, and $5 million in liability protection for related damages for people affected by data breaches.

“The breach of OPM’s personnel records affects a staggering number of individuals – public servants – who trusted the Federal Government to safeguard their most personal information. They and their families now face greater risk of having their lives turned upside down by whoever stole this critical information,” Cardin said in a news release.

OPM is the federal government hiring agency responsible for conducting most federal background investigations. The office holds sensitive data, which “makes the need to secure these systems a top priority. Recently disclosed data breaches involving confidential personnel data of 4.2 million individuals as well as background investigation records of 21.1 million people could compromise both national security as well as the personal security of millions of federal employees.”

Maryland is home to 20 federal agencies, from the Social Security Administration to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at Abarros@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.

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