Lawmakers offer measure requiring cyber, IT training for House

Lawmakers offer measure requiring cyber, IT training for House
© Stefani Reynolds

Lawmakers on Friday introduced a resolution to require members and employees of the House of Representatives to undergo annual cybersecurity and information technology training.

The Congressional Cybersecurity Training Resolution, sponsored by Reps. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceMarijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch Democrat offers measure to prevent lawmakers from sleeping in their offices MORE (D-N.Y.) and John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoHacker conference report details persistent vulnerabilities to US voting systems Hillicon Valley: Senate passes bill to boost cyber help for agencies, businesses | Watchdog warns Energy Department failing to protect grid | FTC sues Match for allegedly conning users Senate approves bill to boost cyber assistance for federal agencies, private sector MORE (R-N.Y.), would require the chief administrative officer of the House to carry out annual cyber and IT training for House members, officers and employees. While House employees are already required to undergo this training, Rice in a statement said that “it’s past time” House members be “held to the same standard.”

“Cyberattacks continue to pose a growing and vexing threat at nearly every level of government and Congressional Offices are no exception,” Rice said. “If we want to effectively counter those threats, then we need to make sure Members of Congress are equipped with the tools and knowledge to play an active role in this fight."

ADVERTISEMENT

Katko, who is the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation, said it is “imperative” for members of Congress to be able to identify potential cyber intrusions.

“Americans in the private and public sector are increasingly susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. Elected officials serving the House are no exception,” Katko said in a statement. “Members of Congress must be able to properly identify these risks.”

The resolution received support from the private sector as well. Barbara George, the executive director of the Washington Cyber Roundtable, said the legislation could help cyber awareness “take root” in the House.

“Because Congressional offices interact daily with constituents, government agencies and industry, one weak link in the institution’s cybersecurity could have disastrous ripple effects across the public and private sectors,” George said in a statement. “To truly fortify the House – and ultimately the Republic – from adversaries, cyber awareness within the institution must be all-inclusive for best practices to take root and become routine.”

Daniel Schuman, the policy director of Demand Progress, “applauded” the resolution, calling it “an important component of keeping the House ahead of the curve” on cyber and IT threats.