Governance & Risk Management , ISMG Radio , Risk Assessments

Does US Need a Department of Cybersecurity?

Group Advocates a Cabinet Position and a New Approach in Congress
Does US Need a Department of Cybersecurity?
Internet Security Alliance President Larry Clinton

The next president of the United States should establish a cabinet position focused on cybersecurity, and Congress should create a more focused approach to funding and authorizing IT security initiatives.

Those are the recommendations of the Internet Security Alliance, says Larry Clinton, the group's president and CEO, in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

The alliance calls for reducing the scores of Congressional committees with cybersecurity jurisdiction. Instead, it advocates creating committees that would only focus on authorizing and funding IT security initiatives. But he acknowledges getting members of Congress to give up cybersecurity turf won't be easy.

"The problem is that cyber is so hot everybody wants to be the cyber guy now," Clinton says. "They'll be a lot of infighting on Capitol Hill because, frankly, the biggest value on Capitol Hill is not money or politics, and sure isn't policy - it's turf. We have to cut through the turf wars and streamline the process."

In the interview (see audio player below photo), Clinton:

  • Explains how the next president could lead efforts to get Congress to enact legislation paving the way for a cabinet-level department focused on cybersecurity as well as reducing the number of committees with cybersecurity oversight;
  • Advocates a significant increase in cybersecurity spending by the federal government to quickly tackle evolving cyber threats; and
  • Discusses why Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would likely take similar approaches to cybersecurity if elected president.

Since 2003, Clinton has headed the Internet Security Alliance, an industry group that promotes a non-regulatory approach to cybersecurity. He has published a number of articles on cybersecurity and frequently testifies before House and Senate committees on information security challenges.

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