Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) introduced the NIST COVID-19 Cyber-Security Act, which instructs the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to produce standards for mitigating and protecting against cyberattacks to American universities researching COVID-19.
“Congress must act to safeguard critical scientific Coronavirus research being conducted at universities nationwide," said Congressman Barr. “My bill would have the Director of NIST put forth guidance to preserve COVID-19 research and greatly reduce the threat of cyber-attacks. This includes providing best practices and guidelines that will protect our national security.”
“We’ve seen disturbing evidence of state-sponsored cyberattacks from the Chinese Communist Party directed at universities and organizations conducting vital research on combatting COVID-19,” said Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), who serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. “This compromises our research efforts and delays our ability to identify vaccines and treatments. NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework is the gold standard for cyber protection, and tailoring these guidelines for academia and research institutions will keep our data safe from theft and manipulation by foreign actors. It’s a simple but strong way to protect American research and support the fight against COVID-19. I’m proud to join Congressman Barr on this important work.”