CONGRESSMEN WILSON, KIM INTRODUCE BILL TO STRENGTHEN NATIONAL GUARD CYBERSECURITY RESPONSE

May 6, 2021
Press Release

This week, Congressmen Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Andy Kim (NJ-03) introduced the National Guard Cybersecurity Support Act, a bill that would strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity by giving governors the ability to decide when and how to deploy their state’s National Guard to respond to cybersecurity threats against critical government programs and information systems.

“I am grateful to join Congressman Andy Kim in introducing the National Guard Cybersecurity Support Act to ensure the tremendous men and women of the National Guard are able to support state and local governments and defend their critical infrastructure from cyber-attack,” said Congressman Wilson. “Last year, the Bluffton Township Fire District and Jasper County were the victims of ransomware attacks, which are increasing nationwide. This legislation clarifies existing law to ensure bureaucratic red-tape never stands in the way of our National Guard responding to the interests of South Carolinians.”

“Being ready to tackle the next generation of cyber threats requires a defense that can move quickly and decisively. Right now, our governors can’t act with the speed they need to keep our neighbors safe,” said Congressman Kim. “I’m proud to work together with Congressman Wilson to bring this bipartisan solution forward that will be a gamechanger for our states in fighting back against cyber-attacks. I know we can get this passed into law, and we’re going to work together to make sure our policies match the speed of the threats we face.”

“The South Carolina Military Department appreciates the efforts of Congressman Wilson and Congressman Kim on the National Guard Cybersecurity Support Act,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, the adjutant general of South Carolina. “The benefits of this act would allow for the South Carolina National Guard to better assist our partner agencies throughout the state with critical cybersecurity support, while also allowing our Cyber Soldiers to gain real-world experience and implement their skill-sets.”

Background

In states across the country, National Guard cyber protection teams support active duty military and respond to cyber threats and attacks. Currently, these units are deployed through the Department of Defense who utilizes policy memorandums to provide guidance on the use of National Guard on these missions. This bill would strengthen readiness and responsiveness of states in the face of increasing cybersecurity attacks that could impact agencies like departments of motor vehicles, the administration of elections, and the distribution of critical state aid.

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