Chair Rodgers: Fortify America’s Cybersecurity – Opening Remarks that Resonate

January 12, 2024
1 min read

TLDR: Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers highlighted the importance of protecting Americans’ personal information and increasing cybersecurity measures during a Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing. She emphasized the need for data privacy protections and secure technology usage. Rodgers also discussed the growing number of cyberattacks, particularly on communications infrastructure, and the role of foreign adversaries in exploiting vulnerabilities. She called for the removal of equipment from companies like Huawei and ZTE, and the full funding of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act. Rodgers emphasized the importance of a multi-faceted approach to address cyber threats and safeguard national security while allowing for industry innovation.

During a Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers stressed the urgency of protecting Americans’ personal information and increasing cybersecurity measures. She highlighted the exponential growth of cybercriminal activities, estimating that they made nearly eight trillion in 2023, a figure expected to reach $10.5 trillion next year. Rodgers emphasized the need for data privacy protections as individuals continue to share more personal information online.

Rodgers also addressed the importance of ensuring the security of broadband networks, which are integral to the economy and provide new opportunities. She expressed concerns about unsecure applications collecting personal information, specifically mentioning TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The chairwoman further discussed the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks, citing a 51 percent global increase in attacks on communications infrastructure in 2021. In the United States alone, there are more than 2,200 cyberattacks on communications infrastructure each day, occurring on average every 39 seconds. Rodgers stressed the growing range of tools used by cybercriminals and the need to reinforce defenses.

Foreign actors, especially those from countries engaged in state-sponsored cyber activities, are increasingly exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States’ infrastructure. Rodgers emphasized the importance of removing equipment from companies like Huawei and ZTE, which are owned and controlled by the CCP. Congress previously passed the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act to address these vulnerabilities and establish a fund for replacing compromised equipment. Rodgers called for the full funding of this effort, amounting to three billion dollars, to prevent China from accessing networks and compromising communications supply chains.

Rodgers highlighted the need for a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that leverages the expertise of federal agencies in their respective sectors. This approach should allow for industry innovation and adaptation to evolving threats without burdensome regulations. By enhancing cybersecurity measures, the United States can strengthen national security, maintain its leadership in technology and communications, and secure the future.

Latest from Blog

44k Americans first to suffer data breach: Are you next?

TLDR: First American Financial Corporation disclosed a data breach affecting 44,000 individuals in December 2023. The company offered free credit monitoring and identity protection services to the affected individuals. The First American