Sen. Carper Statement on Senate’s Cybersecurity Efforts

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the Senate’s consideration of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015: 

“Given the increasing number – and severity — of attacks on our federal agencies and private companies, there is no doubt that we must strive to strengthen our cybersecurity defenses. One way to do that is to improve the ability to share information about the threats coming from cyberspace between and among the private sector and the federal government. I am encouraged by the significant progress the Senate made this week on this critical issue, and I would like to commend Senators Burr and Feinstein and their staffs for their leadership and tireless efforts on their cybersecurity information sharing bill. While we do not agree on everything in this legislation, I greatly appreciate the compromises that have been made to make the bill stronger.

“As a former chairman, and now ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I have been closely following cybersecurity – and this bill – for years. Cybersecurity is an issue that is incredibly important to many of us here in Congress, and I am glad we are giving this issue the attention it deserves. But I hope we can keep up our momentum and quickly resume our work on the bill when we return next month. Passing an information sharing bill is critical to our national security, and it will also help improve the security of many companies across our country. The threats we face in cyberspace are too great for us to do nothing. I look forward to continuing our work on the Senate Floor and with our partners in the House, and hope we are able to send a thoughtful and robust information sharing bill to the President soon.”

Last week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 (S.1869), introduced by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), which would require that all federal agencies implement stronger protections and state-of-the-art technologies to defend against cyberattacks. It would also accelerate the deployment and adoption of the Department of Homeland Security’s federal cybersecurity program known as EINSTEIN. In February, Sen. Carper introduced the Cyber Threat Sharing Act of 2015 (S.456), which would take critical steps to remove barriers in order to increase the sharing of cyber threat data between private industry and the federal government.

Last Congress, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee authored several cybersecurity bills, which the president signed into law in December. Those include the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (S.2521) to update the Federal Information Security Management Act, the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 (S.2519) authorizing a National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center at the Department of Homeland Security for information sharing, and two bills to improve the federal cybersecurity workforce — the Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act (H.R.2952) and the Border Patrol Pay Reform Act (S.1691) (which contains provisions from the DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act of 2014).