Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) on Monday released a new report making recommendations to the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee regarding long-standing challenges hampering the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity efforts.
A member of the subcommittee, Ruppersberger is encouraging his colleagues to exercise greater oversight and work more closely with the authorizing committees to ensure the department is positioned to tackle cyber threats ranging from election security to attacks on the electric grid.
“We all agree the digital threat is one of the most dangerous and prolific of modern times and I think it needs to be made a higher priority,” Ruppersberger said. “We are spending billions of dollars a year on the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity mission and the threat is only getting worse. From finally having our first-ever, cyber-specific budget hearing to considering a wholesale reorganization of the government’s cyber efforts, I hope these recommendations better position us to protect ourselves and American companies.”
“The men and women tasked with executing the Department of Homeland Security’s many and critical missions are hard-working patriots. The goal of this report is to empower them and give them the resources they need to continue protecting us all.”
The report includes seven specific recommendations to the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations:
- The Subcommittee should hold its first cybersecurity-specific budget hearing during Fiscal Year 2019.
- The Subcommittee should focus on the Department’s efforts to protect against the threats posed by the leak of exploitable vulnerabilities.
- The Subcommittee should focus on the Department’s efforts to protect against threats targeting industrial control systems, for example, the energy grid.
- The Subcommittee should evaluate the merits of shifting funding for cyber research and development from the Science & Technology Directorate to the National Protection and Programs Directorate, as proposed in the President’s Budget for FY2019.
- The Subcommittee should focus on the Department’s efforts to improve the way the government and private sector share information about potential and confirmed cybersecurity threats.
- The Subcommittee should explore alternative organizational structures within the government to better execute the cybersecurity mission
- The Subcommittee should evaluate the Department’s implementation of President Trump’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council recommendations.