Senate Law and Public Safety Committee Received Testimony and Advanced Legislation Regarding Cybersecurity

Trenton –  Today the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, chaired by Senator Linda Greenstein, received testimony regarding cybersecurity and the State’s role in protecting residents from cybercrime.

 

“Today’s testimony provided us with critical background knowledge on cybersecurity and how entities in the State are working to prevent cybercrime,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “In recent years, we have seen an increase in cybercrime, so it is imperative that we have these conversations now so that we can work to prevent future attacks from occurring. Today marked only the beginning of the conversation on cybersecurity, and I look forward to hearing more testimony and learning what else we can do legislatively to help prevent cybercrime.”

 

Participants in today’s hearing included Michael Geraghty, Director of the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Cell, and Ryan Hoppock, Deputy Director of Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory of New Jersey. Both testimonies focused on what each office does to prevent cybercrime, as well as the importance of strengthening the cybersecurity industry in New Jersey.

 

Following the hearing, the committee discussed several bills, including S-297. The bill, sponsored by Senator Greenstein and Senator Fred Madden, would require the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) to receive and maintain cybersecurity incident notifications from public agencies and certain government contractors. Under the bill, OHSP would be required to establish cyber incident reporting capabilities to facilitate the submission of timely, secure, and confidential cybersecurity incident notifications.

 

“In New Jersey alone, we see thousands of cybercrime cases occurring each week, with schools, hospitals and police departments being among the most affected by cyber-attacks,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “The COVID-19 pandemic has only made this issue worse due to the increase in usage of technology and remote work. This bill would be a critical aid in ensuring these cases are being reported in a timely manner, allowing us to have a better perspective on the number of residents affected by cybercrime on a regular basis.”

 

The bill was approved by the Senate by a vote of 5-0.