Cybersecurity on Capitol Hill Minds

Cybersecurity has been high on the minds of many Members of Congress in recent weeks.  This week Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the Communications & Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, convened a hearing on the subject, specifically to ask network operators how they were securing their networks and how Congress could help. 

Walden noted that in an earlier hearing, “we heard about the dizzying array of new cybersecurity threats, like supply chain vulnerabilities, botnets and Domain Name System spoofing.”  In this hearing, he sought to learn more about “what cybersecurity services and educational initiatives are being aimed at consumers, what steps are being taken to secure the core components that make up our communications networks, and what affirmative steps network operators have taken to secure the supply chain and to prevent cyberattacks.”

One of the witnesses, AT&T Chief Security Officer Edward Amoroso, declared, “AT&T invests in our network and leads innovation in cyber security because it is in our customers’ interests to do so….Burdening the private sector with the cost of unnecessary and ineffective regulations and processes is contrary to that objective, and will only slow advances in cybersecurity.”

Significantly, competing bills have been introduced in the Senate that differ in strategy on setting official rules versus keeping government hands back from business networks. 

  •  Watch this House cybersecurity hearing.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations