A cyber security bill designed to keep the exchange of ideas between the Department of Homeland Security and other stakeholders in this space will be introduced next week, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) said on Wednesday.
“The more we can have information flowing back and forth between the stakeholders and Homeland Security the better it’s going to be,” Katko told DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing that was focused on border security.
Katko, the ranking member of the committee’s subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation, said that the bill will seek a cyber security and infrastructure advisory committee that works like the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) that meets four times a year to advise the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA ASAC is composed of individuals that represent organizations in the private sector that are affected by aviation security measures.
Nielsen noted that there is already a critical infrastructure advisory council, “but we have been looking into whether we need something that can focus more specifically on cyber because it is a unique expertise as you well know.” She added that DHS will continue to work with Katko on the bill and provide technical assistance.
There are at least two advisory committees that DHS is involved in with critical infrastructure. One is the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council that brings together government agencies and critical infrastructure owners and operators to collaborate on security and resilience efforts. The other is the National Infrastructure Advisory Council made up of executives from industry and state and local governments to advise the White House on boosting security and resilience and mitigating cyber and physical risks to critical infrastructure.
Nielsen said that cyber security is one of, if not the top, threat to homeland security. The threat is “blinking red,” she said.