Cardin: Cybersecurity still top priority, needs more attention

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said cybersecurity remains one of the top priorities for his state and that bad actors are constantly trying to harm U.S. national security.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said cybersecurity remains one of the top priorities for his state.

"Every day we are being attacked," Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) said at a town hall meeting in Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 18. "We also have cyber soldiers out there. These are agents of other countries that are trying to compromise America."

He added that those bad actors are constantly trying to breach U.S. networks to compromise our national security.

Cardin supported an amendment to the annual defense policy bill this year to make U.S. Cyber Command its own combatant command rather than the subset of U.S. Strategic Command it is now.

"We think it needs that kind of attention," Cardin said. He also called for developing better technology to deal with cybersecurity threats.

Cyber Command is based alongside the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md., and expanding it would benefit the state's economy. The two agencies share a single commander, Adm. Michael Rogers.

While speaking about the economic aspects of the issue, Cardin noted that there needs to be better "confidence between the public and the private sector" on the matter. He said more information sharing would promote better business for cybersecurity growth.

Officials across the board seem to agree that more must be done. Although the amendment Cardin supported remains stalled in the Senate, reports indicate that the White House might be interested in following suit. 

"Some [military] service budgets omitted funding for even the most basic tools, like those necessary for cyber protection teams to assess and triage compromised networks," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said at a hearing earlier this year with Rogers, where he stressed the need for better cybersecurity tools for the agency.

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