Peters Urges Senate to Confirm Key Cybersecurity Nominees 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, spoke on the Senate floor about the urgent need to confirm Jen Easterly to be the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Robin Carnahan to be the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA). In his remarks, Peters’ highlighted the important role both agencies play in safeguarding cybersecurity and federal information technology. Amid the relentless onslaught of online attacks targeting everything from critical infrastructure to small businesses, Peters called for his colleagues to swiftly provide agencies charged with protecting American networks with qualified, Senate-confirmed leadership who can work to address this grave security threat.

“Our country is under attack. Nation-state actors and criminal organizations are relentlessly targeting our government, critical infrastructure, and key industries to infiltrate networks, steal information, conduct espionage, or demand ransom payments,” said Senator Peters during his remarks. “We must be vigilant about preventing these attacks, and we need a strong coordinated approach from across the federal government to better secure America’s networks. That means the Senate needs to confirm qualified cybersecurity nominees, so they can get to work immediately.”

Below is video of Peters’ remarks on the Senate floor.

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 hack 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. As a part of the American Rescue Plan Act, Peters helped secure nearly $2 billion to modernize and secure information systems critical to the federal 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. Last Congress, the Senate unanimously approved Peters’ bill to strengthen cybersecurity coordination between DHS and state and local governments. Peters has also introduced bipartisan legislation to support K-12 schools with the resources they need to bolster their cybersecurity.