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Politics & Government

Rep. Katko: Substantial Oversight and Funding Needed for Federal Cybersecurity Defenses

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Congressmember John Katko says there’s clearly more work to be done to bolster the federal government’s defenses against cyber attacks like the one we’re seeing from Russia.  As a ranking member of the House Cybersecurity Subcommittee, he took part in two briefings Friday on the matter, and says it’s clear that this is a very substantial and sophisticated breach. 

Katko says there has to be more robust oversight of the effort to protect against such attacks. 

"There's different agencies involved; we have to make sure they mesh propertly, and have the resources they need to fight something I consider to be the number one terrorist threat today...cyberattacks."

Katko says the deeper you dig into the government’s systems, the more you realize how vulnerable they are.  He says he’s always understood the government’s weaknesses, which he says extends to most systems around the globe.  He says there’s even been substantial  budget increases for federal cybersecurity agencies.

"It's nowhere near enough to defend us from the gravity of the problem.  In both the dot-gov and dot-com domains, there are incredible vulnerabilties that we have to work hard to try and address."

Katko says most concerning, though is the desire of so-called bad actors like Russia, China, and Iran to exploit our vulnerabilities.  He says we have to create more of a deterrent for them to contemplate or engage in these attacks.  Katko says cybersecurity will be a top priority as he becomes ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee in the next Congress.