Peters Discusses Cybersecurity Priorities with Top Administration Officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after convening a meeting with Jen Easterly, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, and Anne Neuberger, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, to discuss how to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity defenses and tackle the threat posed by growing cyber-attacks:

“Our nation continues to face an onslaught of cyber-attacks against everything from critical infrastructure and K-12 schools to small businesses and our federal government. Today, I had a productive meeting with three of the Administration’s top cybersecurity officials, Jen Easterly, Chris Inglis, and Anne Neuberger, where we discussed how we can work together to combat the alarming rise of these attacks that continue to disrupt lives and livelihoods all across the country. We agreed that it will take a comprehensive, all of government approach to deter these continued assaults and hold foreign adversaries and criminal organizations accountable for targeting American networks.

“We also discussed the Administration’s current efforts to fight back against cyber-threats, and what additional authorities and resources they require to effectively fulfill this mandate. This included whether the federal government requires additional funds to prevent and respond to public and private network breaches, how lawmakers and agencies can work to secure and modernize federal IT systems to safeguard sensitive data, how to effectively combat ransomware attacks, and the Administration’s approach to strengthening interagency cooperation and communication in order to tackle rising cyber threats.

“I was pleased to hear that President Biden will continue to use the full might of our diplomatic, military, law enforcement, economic, and intelligence capabilities to impose consequences that will deter attackers. As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I stand ready to support the President’s efforts and lead reforms that will strengthen our response to cyber-attacks and protect the American people from online threats.” 

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led efforts to bolster our nation’s cybersecurity defenses. Peters convened a hearing with the Chief Executive Officer of Colonial Pipeline to examine a recent ransomware attack against the company. A provision authored by Peters to increase our government’s ability to quickly respond to cyber-attacks passed the Senate as part of a larger package to boost American competitiveness on the global stage. Peters is also conducting an investigation into the role cryptocurrencies continue to play in emboldening and incentivizing cybercriminals to commit ransomware attacks. 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. Two pieces of legislation authored by Peters to enhance cybersecurity guidance for K-12 educational institutions across the country and secure federal information technology supply chains against cybersecurity threats and other vulnerabilities have advanced in the Senate.