Press Releases

Rep. Ratcliffe’s cybersecurity hearing identifies opportunities to bolster DHS-private sector partnerships

Washington, DC, March 9, 2017

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) chaired a cybersecurity hearing today to identify opportunities for bolstering partnerships between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the private sector.

“Just weeks ago, Secretary Kelly confirmed that DHS holds its cyber mission as a top priority – and continued input and engagement from the private sector are critical for advancing this important goal,” Ratcliffe said.

“Hearing from stakeholders who’ve been regularly partnering with DHS will show us how to enhance our collaborative programs, so we can be a force multiplier of the private sector’s current cyber defense capabilities.” 

The hearing, “The Current State of DHS Private Sector Engagement for Cybersecurity,” sought input on DHS’s robust portfolio of partnerships, including Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations, the Cyber Information Sharing and Collaboration Program, Sector Coordinating Councils and the Automated Indicator Sharing Program.

Top cyber officials from the HITRUST Alliance, Intel Security Group, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks, and New America’s Open Technology Institute were included in the panel.

The witnesses laid out their suggested priorities for the Trump administration to help ensure existing private sector programs and activities are meaningful, substantive and effective.

Specifically, they suggested that the administration retain DHS as the lead in the civilian cyber effort, put a sustained focus on implementing the cyber roles and missions already established in law, clarify more specific expectations for the private sector when it comes to this collaboration, address the shortage of cybersecurity professionals through education and increased automation, and support provisions in the DHS guidance to protect privacy.

“Our goal is to make sure that the private sector has every opportunity and every reason to take full advantage of DHS’ cybersecurity programs, so we can continue to work together to secure cyberspace. We must now utilize the information we’ve been given to keep the ball moving in the right direction,” Ratcliffe said.