Companies that operate critical infrastructure systems have reported a sharp rise in cybersecurity incidents over a three-year period, according to a new report from an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

Companies reported 198 cyber incidents in 2011, up from 41 incidents in 2010 and just nine in 2009, the report said. The rise in reported incidents comes as the Senate is gridlocked on legislation that would require operators of critical infrastructure to meet new cybersecurity standards.

The report could provide fodder for lawmakers looking to move Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) cybersecurity bill to the floor. The bill has been waiting for floor time since it was introduced in February, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly said he plans to act on the measure this year.

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