With Wednesday's failed cloture vote in the Senate appearing to end any chance of cybersecurity legislation passing this year, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) expressed support for the White House moving as quickly as possible to issue an Executive Order that strengthens our ability to respond to the most serious cyber threats. Langevin, who co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and co-chaired the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, wrote to Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier this week in support of Reid's effort to make cybersecurity a priority in the lame duck session and stressed that comprehensive legislation was preferable to unilateral action by the White House.
"Unfortunately, too many of our leaders believe that it's enough to pay lip service to our cybersecurity challenges. Their approach, sadly, is similar to some of the private owners and operators of our most critical networks who prefer to operate under the assumption they are not potential targets rather than incur the relatively low cost of strengthening security. Legislation considered in both the House and Senate during the 112th Congress was a multi-year effort and had been developed through many compromises. Our top officials in the defense community have emphasized that cyber attacks are surpassing terrorism as the greatest threat to the security of the American people and every day of inaction increases both the possibility of major economic and physical damage and the toll from ongoing theft of our intellectual property.
"I urge the White House to act swiftly to implement an Executive Order that particularly addresses the weakness in our critical infrastructure; however, we must recognize that unilateral action will fall short of what legislation could accomplish to secure our most vulnerable and valuable private and public networks. I plan to again work in the next Congress to achieve this goal."