Senator Collins Continues To Sound The Alarm On The Urgent Need To Bolster Cybersecurity

Senator Collins spoke from the floor yesterday in
support of the bipartisan Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, spoke from the Senate floor yesterday in support of the bipartisan Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. This legislation would make it easier for public and private sector entities to share cyber threat vulnerability information to stop the theft of national security and trade secrets, strengthening our nation’s computer systems against our adversaries.

In her remarks, Senator Collins stated, “We already know many of the steps necessary to reduce the likelihood of a cyber 9/11, yet many of those actions have not yet been taken, in either the government or the private sector. As one former official told the 9/11 Commission last year…‘We are at September 10th levels in terms of cyber preparedness.’”

“Our laws have simply not kept pace with the digital revolution,” Senator Collins continued. “We must not wait any longer to make these reforms or be lulled into the mistaken belief that small, incremental steps will be enough to stay ahead of our adversaries in cyberspace.”

In an effort to further strengthen the legislation, Senator Collins introduced two amendments to increase the protection of federal networks based upon a bill she introduced two weeks ago with Senator Warner and a second amendment to require the owners and operators of the United States’ most vital critical infrastructure to report cyber intrusions that could have catastrophic effects.

Senator Collins said, “For 99 percent of businesses, the voluntary information sharing framework established in this cyber legislation will be enough and the decision to share cyber threat information should be left up to them. A second tier of reporting is necessary, however, to protect the critical infrastructure that affects the safety, health, and economic well-being of the American people.”

“Think about the situation we have here,” continued Senator Collins, “Does it make sense that we require one case of the measles to be reported to the government, but not the intrusion of a system that, if it were attacked successfully, could result in the death of more than 2,500 people?”