April 23, 2015

House Passes Cybersecurity Bill with Watson Coleman Provision

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC (April 23, 2015) ― Today, the House passed H.R. 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act, legislation that included a provision to encourage public awareness and education on personal cyber security authored by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), a Member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

“I am pleased to see Congress taking an active interest in our nation’s cybersecurity, and I’m glad that bill we passed today includes my provision encouraging greater awareness of the vulnerabilities that exist for our seniors, students, small businesses, military, veterans, and all Americans,” Watson Coleman said.  “Cyber attacks represent a growing threat to American families and our national security. By making sure people understand the basic steps they can take to protect their networks we can prevent these attacks and improve our nation’s overall cybersecurity defenses.”

The Watson Coleman provision was added to the bill during the Homeland Security Committee mark-up of H.R. 1731 on April 14. The provision directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to launch a concerted and sustained campaign to educate individuals about personal cyber security through effective public service announcements published online and communicated through social media. It also directs DHS to devise creative wage to engage the public on simple steps to help thwart a cyber-breach.

The Cybersecurity Protection and Advancement Act would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to improve information sharing in an effort to thwart the growing risk posed by hackers and cyber-attacks perpetrated by foreign nations. To see the original text of Watson Coleman’s amendment, click here.