House Panel to Probe Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Work
The House Committee on Homeland Security said it will investigate the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity mission, capabilities and resources required to protect the country’s infrastructure from cyber attack.
The announcement was made Tuesday ahead of a hearing Wednesday to take testimony from officials that include Jane Holl Lute, Homeland Security deputy secretary, and Anish Bhimani, chairman of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
“(The) hearing will examine cyber threats facing the United States and explore how Congress can build upon the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to prevent cyber attacks in a way that promotes U.S. commerce, while not hindering its expansion,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), committee chairman.
“In recent months we have seen worldwide cyber attacks against the U.S. come to light, and it has never been more important for us to work together to defend against them,” McCaul said.
Cybersecurity subcommittee Chairman Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) said the nation’s critical infrastructure, including the financial sector, is more vulnerable to cyberattack than ever before.
“The recent denial of service attacks on our nation’s banks demonstrates that America’s adversaries are developing the tools capable of causing widespread disruption,” Meehan said.
Brad Thaler, NAFCU vice president of legislative affairs, penned a letter in anticipation of the hearing to McCaul and committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Ms.), urging them to recognize the significance of financial data security.
Thaler said in the letter that the risk of a data breach continues to be a serious problem for both consumers and businesses. Not only are consumers put at risk of damaging their credit scores and reputations every time they choose to use a plastic card for payment, he said, credit unions suffer steep losses in re-establishing member safety after a data breach occurs.
Thaler added that any potential bill that seeks to address cybersecurity and data security should require breached entities to pay the cost of the breach and set national standards for safekeeping information.