NEW HAMPSHIRE – U.S. Senator Hassan (D-NH) discussed priorities for cybersecurity during a wide-ranging discussion hosted by the Royal United Services Institute, the leading UK defense and security think tank. Robert Hannigan CMG, the former director of the UK’s largest intelligence and security agency, moderated the conversation.
Senator Hassan kicked off the conversation discussing the SolarWinds breach. “We’re having this discussion at a consequential moment in the global cybersecurity landscape. At the end of last year, we began to learn about the SolarWinds breach, which targeted more than 250 American government agencies and private companies,” said Senator Hassan. “We must eliminate the vulnerabilities that led to this breach, learn the full scope of its impact, and strengthen our cybersecurity systems to prevent future incidents.”
Throughout the event, Senator Hassan emphasized the importance of strengthening federal, state, and local cybersecurity and public-private cooperation. “One area I am focused on is supercharging the cooperation and coordination that our government has with our states and local entities, as well as with the private sector, to ensure that we have a seamless system to counter threats of this nature,” said Senator Hassan.
Senator Hassan discussed a number of bipartisan bills that she has worked to pass into law to address these priorities. The annual defense bill included Senator Hassan’s bipartisan measure to establish a cybersecurity state coordinator in every state and a bipartisan provision to help shore up cybersecurity vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure systems. Last year, a bipartisan bill cosponsored by Senator Hassan was signed into law to require baseline security requirements for Internet of Things (IoT) devices purchased by the federal government.
Senator Hassan also emphasized the importance of working with allies to counter international cybersecurity threats. “Too often, our adversaries have engaged in cyber-attacks, espionage, and influence campaigns on America and our allies with impunity. That cannot continue,” said Senator Hassan. “Our countries must work together on a comprehensive strategy – that includes both the public and private sectors – for both how we prevent international cyberattacks and mitigate their effects.”