Governor Wolf Signs Bill to Aid Pennsylvania State and Local Government in Fighting Cybercrime

Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP

Takeaway: Governor Wolf signed a bill that authorizes the governor to order the Pennsylvania National Guard to assist local governments and private entities with cybersecurity support, training, and more.


On July 7, 2022, Governor Wolf approved House Bill 2412, which authorizes the governor additional powers under Title 51 to order the Pennsylvania National Guard to support State and Local government entities with cybersecurity support, training, exercises, and more. [1]

This legislation permits the governor to “to mobilize our experts through a special state duty status to protect our vital systems and securing personal information.” [2] The two military cybersecurity teams in Pennsylvania primarily subjected to the governor’s orders under this bill are the PA Army National Guard Defense Cyber Operations and the PA Air National Guard 112th Cyberspace Operations Squadron. [3]

Trained military cybersecurity experts can now support local governments and non-government critical infrastructure entities after those entities submit requests for assistance. [4] State and Local governments and designated critical infrastructure can receive operational cybersecurity support. Private and educational institutes can receive training and exercises from the Guard.

During a House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee meeting in April, a sponsor of this Bill and the Cybersecurity Caucus Chair, state Rep. Craig Williams, R-Delaware, said that “We don’t know how many times we’ve been intruded in the cyber space.” [5] Further, Rep. Williams stated, “[Malware] is the leading front of asymmetrical warfare … Part of the effort by Rep. Gaydos and I is to raise awareness about this and try to get some lateral coordination and communication going.” [6]

This new legislation will be particularly beneficial to smaller Pennsylvania local governments without the resources to combat cybercrime independently. With the assistance of the PA National Guard, these government entities can receive actual aid in battling cybercrime and the training necessary to thwart future attacks through educational programs provided by military professionals.

[1] Cann, Harrison, Wolf OKs bill for PA National Guard to provide cybersecurity training to local governments, City & State Pennsylvania, July 8, 2022, https://www.cityandstatepa.com/policy/2022/07/wolf-oks-bill-pa-national-guard-provide-cybersecurity-training-local-governments/374087/.
[2] Memorandum HB2412 re: PANG Cyber Security, Rep. C. Williams, February 23, 2022.
[3] Id.
[4] House Bill 2412, Regular Session 2021-2022.
[5] Cann, Harrison, Wolf OKs bill for PA National Guard to provide cybersecurity training to local governments, City & State Pennsylvania, July 8, 2022, https://www.cityandstatepa.com/policy/2022/07/wolf-oks-bill-pa-national-guard-provide-cybersecurity-training-local-governments/374087/.
[6] Id.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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