Senators establish cybersecurity caucus

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Two U.S. senators on Tuesday announced the creation of a Cybersecurity Caucus to keep lawmakers and staffers up-to-date on cyber policy.

{mosads}The caucus, from Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), will focus on the issue’s impact on national security, the economy and digital security.

“Rifle shots targeting a massive, growing problem have fallen well-short of sufficient. We need a grand strategy to combat positively identified bad actors, and that requires a broad policy response that is adaptable to technological developments and the ever-changing cyber field,” Gardner said.

Cyberattacks account for up to $120 billion in economic and intellectual property loss annually and cost the average U.S. firm more than $15 million per year, the lawmakers note in a release.

But Congress has struggled to get its arms around the issue, which touches almost every sector of government and private industry. Some issues — such as encryption — have become the object of jurisdictional wrangling amongst multiple committees who see the issue as their bailiwick.

“We are launching the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus as a platform to engage in holistic discussions about cybersecurity across Committee jurisdictions, and to keep Senators and their staffs up-to-date on new cyber developments,” Warner, a former tech executive, said.

Both lawmakers are prominent voices on issue of cybersecurity. Warner, together with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), is spearheading the effort to establish a commission to study the challenges encryption poses to law enforcement.

Gardner, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, has been outspoken against North Korea’s digital powers.

His North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, which requires the White House to sanction North Korean cyber criminals, was recently signed into law.

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