US House of Representatives Passes ICS Cybersecurity Training Bill

June 27, 2022

The US House of Representatives has passed the cybersecurity bill titled the “Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act.”

U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, House Judiciary Committee, and House Homeland Security Committee, introduced the bill to help strengthen U.S. cybersecurity protections in light of increased Russian cyber threats.

The Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act would educate information technology professions across the nation on how best to protect against attacks on computer network security systems. These important educational programs, administered through the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), would keep our businesses running and our infrastructure safe against foreign cyber threats.

“With the increased threat of Russian cyberattacks, we must be cognizant of cyberwarfare from state-sponsored actors,” said Rep. Swalwell. “This bill would help train our information technology professionals in the federal government, national laboratories, and private sector to better defend against damaging foreign attacks.”

Industrial Control Systems (ICS) manage essential services through computer networks. Systems include electricity, petroleum production, water, transportation, manufacturing, and communications devices. Because ICS utilize online platforms, it is highly susceptible to intentional and unintentional security vulnerabilities.

In March 2022, the White House issued a stark warning of potential increases in destructive Russian cyberattacks targeting U.S. critical infrastructure. In response, the Department of Energy, CISA, National Security Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigation released a recent joint advisory detailing the types of attacks administered by advanced persistent threat actors on multiple ICS devices.

The Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act would address many of the concerns stemming from foreign attacks on ICS by making permanent an education program within CISA that provides ICS cybersecurity training to public and private sector entities. The bill would also include annual reporting requirements with recommendations on how to expand upon and improve ICS cyber training against future threats.

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