The Senate this week approved bipartisan legislation that would create a cyber training program for Federal employees, aimed to help protect the Federal government against cyberattacks and supply chain security vulnerabilities.

The Supply Chain Security Training Act, introduced by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., would create a training program for Federal employees who are responsible for purchasing services or equipment, helping them to identify products that pose a risk to the United States’ national security.

“Federal employees purchasing software and equipment for the government must be able to recognize vulnerabilities in these products that could allow hackers to breach federal systems and disrupt our supply chains,” Sen. Peters said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation will help Federal employees identify potential threats to Federal cybersecurity, and stop foreign adversaries and cybercriminals as they attempt to compromise our national security.”

“Counterintelligence training for Federal workers who buy and sell goods and services for the government is critical, especially at a time when our adversaries are aggressively and relentlessly attempting to breach our systems and steal information,” added Sen. Johnson. “This is valuable training that will help close a potential gap in our cyber and physical security defenses.”

The General Services Administration, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would develop the training program. OMB would also be responsible for selecting Federal employees to participate in the program and developing guidance for Federal agencies regarding the program.

The legislation would also build upon President Biden’s cybersecurity executive order, which calls on the Federal government to modernize IT infrastructure and security concepts and practices.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration, where Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., introduced companion legislation.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.