By Lisa Kellman
In a press conference Wednesday, the top Republican and Democrat on the House intelligence Committee introduced legislation that would help the private sector prepare themselves against cyber attacks.
“The threat is imminent. The threat can occur tomorrow,” warned Rep. C.A “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the committee’s ranking member. “Some of our key people predict and I feel this way too … we will have a catastrophic attack within the next year.”
The duo presented an 11 page cybersecurity bill that would unite the private and federal sectors to fight cyber attacks and protect intellectual property. The bill would allow the federal government to “share classified cyber threat information with approved American companies.”
“We have classified information that would be very beneficial on possible threats to networks that under current law and under the current arrangement cannot be shared with the private sector,” said Rogers.
The legislation would also make it easier for the private sector to voluntarily share cyber threat information with the U.S. government.
Rogers emphasized the urgency of the bill, noting that countries like Russia and China have spent billions of dollars to create technology for cyber attacks and “cyber economic espionage” which, can cost the economy up to $1 trillion each year. According to Rogers, companies can and have lost millions of dollars from these attacks and one company in particular lost as many as 20,000 manufacturing jobs.
The Chairman reported that many agencies have been approached as well as the White House and none have opposed the plan.