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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Protect Federal Data Centers from Extreme Weather, Cyber Attacks, and Other Disasters

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect and secure federal data centers. Federal data centers store considerable amounts of sensitive information, and house critical information technology and cybersecurity infrastructures. Peters’ legislation would help ensure that these centers are able to withstand a potential disaster or attack. Michigan is home to several data centers, including a facility owned by Switch in Grand Rapids.

“The federal government is responsible for storing considerable amounts of sensitive and personal information – including credit card and social security numbers. We must ensure this data is stored securely and used in a way that does not violate civil rights and liberties,” said Senator Peters. “This important, bipartisan legislation will ensure that new and existing federal data centers are protected from cyber attacks, catastrophic weather events, and other potential disasters.”

The Federal Data Center Enhancement Act would require the Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide a minimum set of requirements for federal data centers when they undergo substantial modification or upgrades. The bill would also require federal agencies to report new data centers to Congress and OMB, and allows agencies to use commercial cloud options for data storage and other functions.

In his role on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led efforts to significantly strengthen U.S. cybersecurity and protect Americans’ sensitive personal information. Peters’ legislation to strengthen local government cybersecurity defenses by encouraging adoption of the .gov domain for websites and email accounts was signed into law. His legislation to increase cybersecurity coordination between the federal government and state and local governments was also signed into law. Peters secured several provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law to bolster cybersecurity – including $1 billion dollars to help state and local governments modernize and protect their systems.

Read the announcement at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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