Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick

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Fitzpatrick Continues Work on Cyber Security

Mar 28, 2017
Press Release
Subcommittee hearing focuses on securing federal networks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) continued his effort to strengthen United States defense against cyber-threats Tuesday as he joined the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection for a hearing focused on securing federal networks.

“One of the most important – but often overlooked – issues facing our nation on the security front is cyber threats from state and non-state actors. The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for coordinating public and private cyber protection efforts, as well as executing a ‘defense-in-depth’ strategy to effectively secure Federal IT systems,” said Fitzpatrick. “Cybersecurity is a complex and serious national and economic security issue that our country will continue to face over the decades to come. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I’m committed to working to address this challenge on every front, and equip our defense agencies with the tools it needs to carry out their critical missions.”

The subcommittee hearing examined the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) current efforts in securing federal networks. The authorities for this DHS responsibility were updated in the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) of 2014, the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014, and the Cybersecurity Act of 2015

Earlier this month, Fitzpatrick participated in a full-committee hearing on the evolving cyber threat landscape and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) civilian cyber defense mission. Since joining the committee, Fitzpatrick has taken an active role in working to defend America’s domestic networks and establish a comprehensive assessment of the current cyber threat environment to help guide the Committee’s legislative and oversight efforts.

In 2016, the nation saw a growing variety of digital threats against the private sector and Federal networks. American election systems were targeted, 500 million Yahoo user accounts were hacked, hospital IT systems were frozen with ransomware, and the IRS was breached.  Additionally, there have been cyber-attacks against the financial sector, dams and power grids. 

“It is worth noting that our enemies today need not attack our government to have a substantive strategic effect on our nation.  Attacking civilian or economic infrastructure may be a more effective approach in the modern era, particularly for asymmetric actors like terrorist groups. Similarly, an increasing number and range of non-state groups use cyber-enabled methods to advance their own agendas. Major criminal gangs, organized crime groups, and terrorist organizations are growing their cyber capabilities to go beyond mere communication, recruitment, and incitement,” noted Gen. Keith B. Alexander (Ret. USA), President and Chief Executive Officer of IronNet Cybersecurity, at that hearing. “It is critical that as a nation, we fundamentally rethink how the government and the private sector relate to one another in cyberspace.  We need to draw clear lines and make explicit certain responsibilities, capabilities, and authorities… We need to recognize that neither the government nor the private sector can capably protect the systems and networks they need to without extensive and close cooperation.”