Following a work visit to Israel last week, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) is considering crafting legislation that would strengthen collaboration between the United States and Israel in a number of areas around cyber security.

Langevin, a member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, visited Israel with Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), the chairman of the panel.

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), co-chairman of the Cyber Security Caucus.
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) is co-chairman of the Congressional Cyber Security Caucus.

Langevin told Defense Daily in a telephone interview on Tuesday that while in Israel he and Ratcliffe spoke about working together on drafting cyber security legislation to enhance cooperation and information sharing between the two countries once they were back on Capitol Hill.

“That’s something that I very much want to work on,” Langevin said.

In a statement on Monday following last week’s visit, Langevin said, “Israel is a technological leader and a hub of cybersecurity innovation, and the United States can both work with and learn a great deal from our Israeli counterparts. I was so impressed by the groundbreaking and truly trailblazing work Israel is doing in cybersecurity, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with my colleagues in Congress as we continue to tackle the complex challenges we face in cyberspace.”

Langevin said that general outlines of a potential bill would include information sharing, possibly between each country’s Computer Emergency Readiness Teams, and even working toward real-time machine-to-machine threat information sharing. Other potential provisions could include cooperation on research and development toward the “next-generation of cyber defenses,” cyber red teaming and war gaming, and development of cyber ranges to include penetration testing “to see if you’re as secure as you think you are.”

This type of cooperation and information sharing in the cyber realm should also apply to America’s allies and partners globally, Langevin said. Israel stands out as the second largest exporter of cyber security technology behind the U.S., which is “impressive” and “surprising” given how small the country is, he said.

The U.S. and Israel currently enjoy some level of cooperation in the area of cyber security. Last July, Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signed a statement with his Israeli counterparts reaffirming their respective commitments to cooperation on cyber issues to include incidents, policy, and R&D.

Langevin said cooperation with Israel on cyber security is a natural extension on existing cooperation between the two countries in defense, intelligence and homeland security issues.

Israel has an “all hands on deck” approach to cyber security, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other policy makers, academia, and the technology sector, Langevin said. He said the education sector in Israel is working to develop a stronger curriculum around cyber security, something he wants to see more of in the U.S. Langevin and Ratcliffe met with Netanyahu during their visit to Israel.

“I want to focus on how we can further collaborate together and leverage each other’s strengths in the area of cyber technology,” Langevin said. “The end goal, of course, is to better protect our respective nations in cyberspace against hackers, nation states, terrorist groups or cyber criminals out there that could hold our nations at risk and hold our people at risk.”