VIDEO: Peters Convenes Hearing to Examine Challenges in the Federal Cybersecurity Regulatory Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, convened a hearing to examine the efforts of the Administration to harmonize overlapping federal cybersecurity standards and challenges U.S. businesses face to meet these standards. The hearing highlighted the need for Congress to pass legislation to require agencies and regulators to coordinate a cohesive approach to regulations meant to strengthen cybersecurity and ensure businesses and entities can comply with critical cybersecurity requirements. The witnesses discussed the burdens that businesses can face when working to meet multiple cybersecurity standards across different federal agencies and regulators, and the need for better harmonization of cybersecurity regulations, particularly by independent regulatory agencies. Some businesses have raised concerns that duplicative requirements can lead to cybersecurity professionals being pulled away from their jobs to file paperwork rather than focusing on defending our critical infrastructure.  

“We need effective regulations on cybersecurity. But we need them to be efficient, adaptable, and coordinated across different agencies. Harmonizing these guidelines will make our government more efficient, help our businesses compete on the global stage, and ensure that we’re addressing cyber threats in the most effective way,” said Peters during his opening statement. “That is why I am working on legislation to establish a Harmonization Committee at the Office of the National Cyber Director that would require all agencies and regulators to come together, talk about cybersecurity regulations, and work on harmonization.” 

To watch video of Senator Peters’ opening remarks, clickhere.For text of Peters’ opening remarks as prepared, clickhere.

To watch video of Senator Peters’ questions, clickhere.

During the hearing, Peters and the witnesses emphasized the importance of having standardized regulations across critical infrastructure sectors to ensure our nation is best prepared to respond to cybersecurity threats. They also reinforced that cybersecurity remains one of the most pressing challenges facing our nation due to our reliance on interconnected systems and increasingly complex cyberattacks. 

Nicholas Leiserson, Assistant National Cyber Director for Cyber Policy and Programs for the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) – the lead federal agency for harmonizing cybersecurity regulations – discussed the challenges the office faces when trying to promote harmonization. David Hinchman, Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity at the Government Accountability Office, discussed how regulators can best tailor cybersecurity requirements to promote a cohesive response to protect themselves and critical infrastructure owners and operators from cyberattacks.