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Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Representing the 10th District of Virginia

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Comstock's Subcommittee Reviews Expanding Cyber Threats

January 27, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –The Research and Technology Subcommittee today held its first hearing of the 114th Congress to hear from both private sector and government experts about issues related to cybersecurity.

Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.): “Instances of harmful cyber-attacks are happening everyday across the country.  Financial information, medical records, and personal data maintained on computer systems by individuals and organizations continue to be vulnerable to attacks.  We have well-trained professionals who are working around the clock implementing security techniques that will help Americans thwart cyber-attacks.  We know we must aggressively enhance our capabilities and develop best practices to counter high-risk cyber security issues.  This is and should be a top priority for the new Congress.”

Cybersecurity research and development efforts include working on the prevention of cyber-attacks, detecting attacks as they are occurring, responding to attacks effectively, mitigating severity, recovering quickly and identifying responsible parties. Mobile, wireless technology presents new challenges in preventing for cyber-attacks. As more devices communicate with one another, from security systems to thermostats, the “Internet of Things” presents a growing target.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “From the theft of credit card information at retailers like Target and Home Depot, to successful attacks at Sony and on the U.S. Central Command, no further wake-up calls are necessary to understand our call to action. As America continues to become more advanced, we must better protect our information technology systems from attack.  Any real solution should adapt to changing technology and tactics while also protecting private sector companies, public institutions and personal privacy.”

The following witnesses testified:

Ms. Cheri McGuire, Vice President, Global Government Affairs & Cybersecurity Policy, Symantec Corporation

Dr. James Kurose, Assistant Director, Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate, National Science Foundation.

Dr. Charles H. Romine, Director, Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Dr. Eric A. Fischer, Senior Specialist in Science and Technology, Congressional Research Service

Mr. Dean Garfield, President and CEO, Information Technology Industry Council

During the 113th Congress, the Committee held a number of hearings on issues related to cybersecurity, including: a February 2013 hearing, Cybersecurity Research and Development: Challenges and Solutions; a January 2014 hearing, Healthcare.gov: Consequences of Stolen Identity; and a March 2014 hearing, Can Technology Protect Americans from International Cybercriminals?  Each hearing explored a different aspect of cybersecurity concerns facing Americans today.

For more information about the hearing, including a link to the archived webcast, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.