House HSC hears testimony on cyber threats

The House Homeland Security Committee heard testimony on cyber threats and resilience on February 10.

Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) opened the session by asserting the Biden Administration’s commitment to cybersecurity as “an urgent national and economic security issue.” Thompson also stated that cybercrime cost the global economy $1 trillion in 2020, and cited a recent cyber attack on a Florida water treatment facility where attackers attempted to poison the water supply.

“To be sure, today is just the first of several hearings this Committee will hold on the cybersecurity threats facing the nation and how the government and private sector should work together to address them,” concluded Thompson.

Among those giving testimony at the hearing was Mr. Dmitri Alperovitch, Executive Chairman of Silverado Policy Accelerator. Alperovitch’s testimony was also publishes in an oped on the same day of the hearing.

In his testimony, Alperovitch urges that an “assumption of breach” mindset should be adopted across the board, as no cyberdefense system can prevent all breaches and all networks are vulnerable. 

Alperovitch makes five recommendations:

  1. Appoint the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as the government’s chief information security officer.
  2. Measure agencies’ ability to respond quickly to cyber threats.
  3. Pass a comprehensive breach notification law​.
  4. Increase security standards for vendors supplying high-risk software via government acquisition processes​.
  5. Require cryptocurrency exchanges to remember who uses them.

Alperovitch concludes his testimony by saying that competition between the U.S. and its adversaries “has reached an inflection point,” and that “Modernizing America’s cyber strategy is a linchpin that makes all other efforts to ensure continued American leadership possible.”

To learn more about Alperovitch’s testimony, please follow the links below.
Homeland Cybersecurity: Assessing Cyber Threats and Building Resilience, House of Representatives
We Must Reorient US Cyber Strategy Around the Only Safe Assumption, Defense One

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