by Bari Schwartz
In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee discussed how 95 percent of private sector networks are vulnerable to attack, some already being breached regularly. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is pointing the finger at Iran and China for the increased number of cyber attacks over the past few weeks.
The chairman’s concerns stem not only from military and defense records, but also “civilian innovation that companies are gonna use to create production lines to build things…They’re stealing that, repurposing it back in nations like China and competing in the international market.”
These statements come after the stoppage of a bill to increase the United States’ cyber defense in the Senate during the last Congress. However, an executive order was passed the same day as the President’s State of the Union Address this past week. The order “relies heavily on participation from U.S. industry in creating new voluntary standards for protecting information.”
The executive order calls for a set of voluntary cybersecurity standards for companies to follow. In addition, it will have government bodies share existing or potential threats with private sector companies. Representative Rogers is pushing for information sharing along these lines, calling it a central way to address current cybersecurity concerns.
In addition, Representatives Rogers and bill co-sponser Ruppersberger (D-MD) plan to re-submit the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Ac (CISPA) on Wednesday, February 13th.
Considering the difficultly of reaching consensus on cybersecurity legislation and ensuring companies meet the standards (which will be created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology), it will be interesting to track the progress made by the NIST and Congress as cybersecurity becomes a central area of attention in the national conversation.
Bari Schwartz is a development intern at the EastWest Institute’s New York Center.