"With justification, the American people remain very concerned about their own economic security. After all, we are mired in the longest period of high unemployment since World War II and they long for an economy that allows them to "get ahead' if they work hard, exercise personal responsibility and play by the rules.
"However, there is an unseen threat to businesses of all sizes and our families' economic security from foreign states, criminals and terrorists who certainly do not play by the rules nor exercise responsibility. Indeed, there exists a new threat - cyber crime - and U.S. businesses, government entities and everyday Americans are targets.
"Cyber crime is no longer the lone teenager in the basement hacking into a high school database to change a grade. It has evolved dramatically. Today, a whole range of American citizens and organizations are targeted every hour of every day by scheming hackers, here and abroad, who are intent on robbing America's intellectual property and sensitive government information through the Internet.
"Economic predators are blatantly stealing business secrets and innovation from private companies. These, and other criminals and terrorists, are potentially affecting financial systems, citizens and our homeland by potentially disabling electrical grids and disrupting law enforcement communications, early warning systems, air traffic, train and mass transit.
"Cyber criminals are targeting online accounts, using "malware' to steal log-in credentials and gain access or draining funds through fraudulent electronic-payment schemes.
"Clearly, cybersecurity is a major and growing area of concern for everyone. The last thing our economy needs is relentless cyber attacks against computer systems that support our financial institutions, employers, government entities and our soldiers doing the hard work of freedom.
"The House this week passed a series of bills designed to inform, educate and promote research into cyber threats and tools to defeat them. However, the keystone of "Cyber Week' in the House was H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. This bill increases needed information sharing by allowing the federal government to provide classified intelligence information to private entities to use to protect their own networks. The bill also allows the private sector to voluntarily share cybersecurity threat information with other private entities and/or voluntarily share with the federal government.
"Sharing information about cyber threats is a critical step to preventing them. This proposal is a good start toward helping the private sector safeguard its critical cyber networks, including those that power our electrical, water and banking systems. By permitting the private sector to expand its own cyber defense efforts and to use classified information to protect its systems and networks, this bill will help create a more robust cybersecurity marketplace with expanded service offerings and jobs.