Sen. Carper: GAO Report Highlights Administration’s Progress in Strengthening Cyber Security Efforts; Underscores Need for Legislation to Provide Long-Term Leadership in Cyber Security Effort

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, released the following statement reacting to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study –Executive Branch Is Making Progress Implementing 2009 Policy Review Recommendations, but Sustained Leadership Is Needed- on the Administration’s progress in improving cyber security efforts


"This report from the Government Accountability Office shows that while the Administration has made important progress in improving our cyber security efforts, there is still more that we could and should be doing to protect from this serious threat to our nation," said Sen. Tom Carper, a senior Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a co-author of comprehensive cyber security reform legislation. "Given the serious nature of the threat we face, I agree with this report’s conclusion that ‘sustained’ leadership to address this challenge is needed.  That’s why in June, I teamed up with other members on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to introduce legislation -the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010- that would provide the kind of long-term, strategic focus needed to effectively secure our country from cyber attacks from cyber criminals, cyber terrorists and even other countries. 

"While the Administration has done an admirable job to date in recognizing and attempting to address the cyber threat, in many ways they are fighting this battle with one hand tied behind their back because they lack the tools and resources necessary to make real progressIn order to maximize our security efforts we need to ensure that a fully capable civilian agency is at the helm of our cyber security efforts, working as an open and transparent partner with the private sector to defend our nation from these threats. It is critical for Congress and the Administration to come together and deal with this threat – and soon– before it’s too late."


Sen. Carper has been a national leader on cyber security issues and, as chairman of a key Senate Homeland Security subcommittee, has chaired several hearings over the past three years examining ways to more effectively secure the U.S. from cyber attacks. These hearings culminated in June 2010 when the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed comprehensive cyber security legislation, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 (S.3480). Sponsored by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), this legislation aims to modernize, strengthen and coordinate the security of the federal, civilian and private sector critical infrastructure networks. One key provision in the bill, authored by Sen. Carper, would also provide the Department of Homeland Security with the authority to develop and bolster cyber security challenges across the nation in order to identify, educate and train the future cyber security workforce. 


To read a copy of the full GAO report, please click here.