At Peters’ Urging, Senate Confirms Key Cybersecurity Nominee Amid Relentless Wave of Ransomware Attacks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led the Senate in unanimously confirming Jen Easterly to be the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In remarks on the Senate floor, Peters highlighted the important role CISA plays in safeguarding cybersecurity and federal information technology. In the wake of a significant increase in cyber-attacks targeting everything from critical infrastructure to small businesses, Peters called for the swift confirmation of Easterly to ensure qualified, Senate-confirmed leaders are in place to address this relentless national security threat.

“Before the Senate adjourned for the July 4th holiday, I stood right here and urged my colleagues to confirm her for this vital position,” said Senator Peters during his floor remarks. “I warned that without confirming Ms. Easterly, we risked leaving ourselves vulnerable to cyber-attacks. And in the two weeks since I last called on my colleagues to approve this critical nomination, nation-state actors and criminal organizations have continued their relentless targeting of the United States.”

Peters continued: “Unfortunately, these are only the latest of several recent cyber-attacks that threaten our government, critical infrastructure, and key industries. These attackers will stop at nothing to infiltrate our networks, and we urgently need qualified, Senate-confirmed cybersecurity leaders in place to fight back.”

Click here for video of Peters’ remarks on the Senate floor.

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led efforts to strengthen cybersecurity across government, the private sector and our critical infrastructure. A provision authored by Peters to increase our government’s ability to quickly respond to cyber-attacks that could compromise federal supply chains, such as recent breaches of the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange networks, passed the Senate as part of a larger package to boost American competitiveness. As a part of the American Rescue Plan Act, Peters helped secure nearly $2 billion to modernize federal information technology systems, bolster federal cyber defenses and guard against attempts to attack technological supply chains and networks critical to our pandemic response. In April, the Senate also passed his provision to help protect our nation’s public water infrastructure technology systems, following recent cyber-attacks on water utilities.