Rep. Ratcliffe chairs hearing to assess DHS’ efforts to secure federal networks
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) chaired a House Homeland Security Committee cybersecurity subcommittee hearing today to examine the status of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ongoing efforts to secure federal networks.
The hearing included witnesses from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Research Service. Witnesses provided testimony on the areas in which DHS has excelled or should improve in its efforts to successfully carry out the legislative authorities established in the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 and the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014. Specifically, the witnesses discussed the EINSTEIN and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation programs.
“Federal law has deliberately tasked DHS with a critical role in the protection of federal networks, and over the past few years we’ve made some significant strides. As DHS works to fulfill the important responsibility of fully implementing its federal network protection programs, it’s imperative that we in Congress stay engaged through frequent, thorough and ongoing oversight,” Ratcliffe said.
“That means more than performing a routine check-up – or ‘taking the temperature’ – if you will, and then just moving on. It means listening to input from those who are actually on the front lines, and then building upon what we learn to ensure that federal network security is worthy of the trust placed in it by the American people.”
The importance of continual oversight of DHS’ critical cybersecurity mission was further enforced by DHS Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity, Jeanette Manfra.
“Cybersecurity remains one of the most significant strategic risks to the United States. The past several years have seen a steady drumbeat of cybersecurity compromises affecting the Federal Government, state and local governments, and the private sector,” Manfra said.
“This administration will make significant investments in cybersecurity. In the recently-released budget blueprint, the president requested $1.5 billion for DHS to safeguard cyberspace by protecting federal networks and critical infrastructure from an attack.”