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Katko Applauds DHS Cyber Priorities

March 31, 2021

Katko Applauds DHS Cyber Priorities

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the cybersecurity vision outlined by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas at the RSA Conference:

“Cybersecurity is homeland security. I was encouraged to hear Secretary Mayorkas lay out his vision for the Department’s cybersecurity mission and was even further encouraged by the significant overlap in our priorities – particularly around the importance of CISA’s ‘quarterback’ role. With highly sophisticated adversaries only getting bolder, we must not only account for the threats of today but also the emerging risks of tomorrow. I couldn’t agree more that ensuring CISA has the resources, workforce, and authorities it needs to carry out its mission is critical for .gov security and critical infrastructure resilience alike. In the aftermath of the SolarWinds cyber campaign and the exploitation of Microsoft email servers, we must lean into CISA’s quarterback status to identify, combat, and defend against bad actors.

“Additionally, as Secretary Mayorkas called out, ransomware poses a significant national security threat that demands more collective action. Throughout the pandemic, entities in the healthcare and public health sector and other organizations involved in pandemic response were targeted with ransomware attacks. Over the past year, CISA has ramped up its partnership efforts to defend against ransomware attacks, publishing numerous alerts and providing resources and services to assist states, local governments, and the private sector. I look forward to continuing to work with CISA to ensure SLTT and private sector entities can effectively leverage these products and services CISA offers. Ransomware attacks will continue to be successful until we work together to disrupt the business model and harden our systems.

“As the Secretary recognized, in order to secure industrial control systems, we must continue to build centralized cybersecurity capacity with CISA where possible for the entire critical infrastructure community to voluntarily benefit from. I recently introduced legislation that does just that by solidifying CISA’s lead role in protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats. These systems operate many vital components of our nation’s critical infrastructure and remain under constant attack from cyber criminals and nation state actors and can have devastating, real-world consequences.

“There is a lot of work to do and I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Mayorkas, Chairman Thompson, and a wide range of other stakeholders to make real progress around these bipartisan issues.”