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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Ortiz González lauds enactment of cybersecurity legislation he authored

Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz González

By The Star Staff

Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz González thanked his colleagues in the island House of Representatives and Senate for the approval and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia for the signing of House Bill (HB) 1530, which creates the Cybersecurity Law for Puerto Rico.

The law, broadly speaking, proposes to establish, as a principle of public policy, security provisions for government data, and support for innovation processes while promoting the development and sustainable economic growth of all sectors in Puerto Rico.

“I am pleased that my bill has become a law to reduce the number of cyberattacks to which government agencies are exposed since, by creating the Office for the Evaluation of Cyber Incidents, attached to PRITS [Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service], it will be monitoring, identifying, and responding to irregular security events, which can impact the information of all citizens,” Ortiz González said. “This allows us to continue moving the government into the future.”

The chairman of the House Government Committee, who is seeking the Popular Democratic Party nomination for governor in the fall elections, noted that Puerto Rico suffered 737 million attempted cyberattacks in the first half of 2022, an increase of 294% compared to the same period in 2021.

“With this breakthrough law, Puerto Rico will have the minimum security requirements for both public and private entities so that we can assure our citizens that their information is safe,” Ortiz González said. “With the signing of this law, we are confident that Puerto Rico will soon be at the forefront of cybersecurity in the [region] and that it will be able to provide our citizens with greater security and confidence in digital government processes.”

Among other things, the Cybersecurity Law proposes the following:

* Establishes as a policy the prohibition of making any type of ransom payment in response to ransomware, with some exceptions such as critical infrastructure, imminent risk of loss of life or in the event that any federal or state agency requests it;

* Elevates to the rank of law the position of chief information security officer under PRITS, and establishes his or her powers and duties, in order to guarantee the execution of the public policy established in HB 1530. The cyber security officer will be appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico for a term of 10 years with the advice and consent of the Senate of Puerto Rico.

* Establishes the parameters related to the contracting of technology services companies with the government.

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