HARRISBURG – On the heels of the Senate tackling the cybersecurity threat of TikTok, Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) introduced two measures aimed at addressing ransomware attacks and IT procurement in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 563 would establish that the Commonwealth agencies have strong capabilities in place to discourage, combat and recover from ransomware attacks. Under the measure, an individual found guilty of a ransomware offense would be subject to a range of penalties – first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony – depending on the monetary amount exploited.
Senate Bill 284 would establish a standalone Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the Office of Administration. The role of the OIT would be to establish a strategic plan for future IT projects across state government, as well as manage and maintain all future IT procurement within state agencies.
“I applaud the Senate’s bipartisan support to safeguard Pennsylvanian’s assets from the cybersecurity threat of TikTok,” Phillips-Hill said. “However, we continue to see increased attacks on our information technology systems all across state government. These bills ensure that state, local governments and schools remain vigilant against this very real threat.”
The legislation is the result of public testimony to review best practices in other states, as well as feedback from the state’s former chief information officer.
“We need to continue working together – the legislature and administration – to ensure our state government’s ever-increasing online assets are safeguarded,” she said.
Senate Bill 563 heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Bill 284 heads to the Senate Communications and Technology Committee for consideration.