By Jim Kouri
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate should pass legislation to increase cyber security — in both public and private sectors — since the country is involved in a “type of cyber Cold War,” stated the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Thursday during a congressional presentation.
Clapper told the panel of lawmakers that the United States economy is losing upwards of $300 billion per year because of rampant cyber-based corporate espionage.
Director Clapper also discussed intrusions on public systems controlling everything from major defense weapons systems and public air traffic to electricity and banking.
Speaking at a hearing of the House Select Intelligence Committee on worldwide threats, the intelligence community’s top commander urged lawmakers to pass a bill that forces intelligence sharing between the government and the private sector, following the model of the Defense Industrial Base pilot program launched by then-Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn in 2011.
In addition to DNI Clapper, Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Ronald Burgess and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller also testified before the bi-partisan Intelligence Committee.
From a counterespionage viewpoint, Mueller said that the importance of dealing with cyber threats is paramount and such attacks “will equal or surpass the threat from terrorism in the near future.”
Cyberspace touches nearly every part of an American’s daily life. It’s the broadband networks beneath us and the wireless signals around us, the local networks in our schools and hospitals and businesses, and the massive grids that power our nation, according to the White House cybersecurity report.
One of the world’s most prolific cyber-espionage perpetrators are the Chinese who routinely “lift” research and development data from major corporations in the U.S. and other industrialized nations.
It’s the classified military and intelligence networks that keep us safe, and the World Wide Web that has made us more interconnected than at any time in human history. We must secure our cyberspace to ensure that we can continue to grow the nation’s economy and protect our way of life, stated officials with the National Security Council.
The nation’s cybersecurity strategy is twofold: improve our resilience to cyber incidents, and reduce the cyber threat.