The 116th Congress may have difficulty finding common ground on most issues. But there is at least one area that presents the opportunity for bipartisan action: cybersecurity. Cyber threats do not discriminate based on party affiliation. There are four key issues within cybersecurity where this Congress has the potential to make progress with impactful legislation that would make all Americans — and our democracy — more secure. The Department of Homeland Security has made considerable progress on election security over the past 18 months. But, with 10,000 local jurisdictions responsible not just for administering elections but now for protecting our democracy against nation-state threat actors, more must be done. The answer does not lie in funding alone. Paper ballots paired with risk-limiting audits are critical; and Congress should take a hard look at the vendors who play an outsized role in our democracy. We also must share expertise and training across jurisdictions and ensure that jurisdictions are prepared to recover in the face of a cyberattack. The election security provisions in the House Democrats’ first bill are an excellent start and should not fall way to partisan rancor.
… There are additional cybersecurity priorities Congress must address, especially protecting the defense supply chain and regulating the unsecured explosion of the internet of things. There is a reasonable path forward on these issues in groundwork laid in the 115th Congress.
As Americans increasingly are recognizing, cybersecurity is critical to the national and economic security of our nation. Congressional legislation that focuses on election security, data privacy and security, critical infrastructure protection, and workforce development is an important and necessary step in helping our nation confront these active threats.