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Public Statements

Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HALL. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank Chairman ISSA for the hard work that he and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has undertaken in the development of H.R. 4257, the Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012.

This bill updates and improves the decade old Federal Information Security and Management Act (FISMA). FISMA currently requires each Federal agency to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide information security for their systems.

The Science, Space, and Technology Committee receives annual FISMA reports from each Federal agency. These reports detail the management and security of each agency's information technology resources, and the actions necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the government's information security policies.

The Science, Space, and Technology Committee monitors these reports to review the cybersecurity standards and guidelines that the National Institute of Standards and Technology sets for Federal information systems. These standards and guidelines are particularly important because along with agency use, the same standards and guidelines are frequently adopted on a voluntary basis by many organizations in the private sector. The Committee will continue to receive and review these annual FISMA reports from Federal agencies, and will provide continued oversight of NIST's role in FISMA process.

H.R. 4257 takes an important step forward in the protection of the government's information technology resources by establishing a mechanism for stronger oversight. The bill ensures implementation of new developments in technological innovation, including automated and continuous monitoring of cybersecurity threats as well as regular threat assessments.

Our Federal agencies depend on FISMA to guide them to protect federal networks. Officials are already working to integrate some of the concepts proposed by H.R. 4257, such as continuous monitoring, into the management of information systems. I am encouraged that this bill will help agencies more easily comply with the latest cybersecurity standards and guidelines set forth by NIST.

H.R. 4257 is a good bill that represents another critical piece in Congress's overall efforts to address the Nation's cybersecurity needs. There are additional tweaks that could make the bill even better, and I look forward to working with Mr. ISSA as the bill moves through the process to address remaining issues to our mutual satisfaction.

I support the passage of H.R. 4257 and encourage my colleagues to do the same.

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