A new congressional voice on cybersecurity issues is vowing to heighten oversight of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to help fight the growing threat of cyberattacks.
Rep. Laurel Lee, R-Fla., told the annual Hack the Capitol conference on May 11 that she and other members of the House Homeland Security Committee will be focusing on CISA in the coming months “to ensure that it can properly protect the nation’s federal networks and 16 critical infrastructure sectors that support the American way of life.”
Congress must equip CISA “with the necessary resources to keep our nation safe,” said Lee, who added that she and her colleagues “are committed to holding our adversaries, such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea accountable to protect our cyber border.”
Lee, who took office in January, is a former Florida Secretary of State. In that job, she said, “cybersecurity was my administration’s main priority” and she worked closely with CISA “to ensure that our election systems were secure.”
Since coming to Capitol Hill, Lee has joined the homeland security committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection and given interviews highlighting the growing cyber threat.
In her homeland security role, she told the conference, “it is one of my responsibilities to help the public understand the threats we face every day from cyber actors, both foreign and domestic. Unfortunately, in recent times, cyberattacks have become increasingly more frequent … this threat requires a posture of vigilance.”
Lee pointed to a document the committee released in March called the CISA 2025 Initiative, which it described as “a roadmap on oversight, engagement, and legislative goals to ensure CISA matures into a more effective operational agency by 2025, while avoiding unnecessary bureaucratic red-tape.”
In another sign that the committee is focused on CISA, its chairman, Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., recently vowed that the panel will conduct tough oversight of CISA to ensure that the agency “responsibly” carries out its mission without branching into excessive regulation.
Lee concluded her remarks at the conference by calling on Americans to “work together and increase our awareness of suspicious cyber activities” as attackers “continue to disrupt our most critical assets and way of life.”