Former assistant secretary for cyber security with the Department of Homeland Security has recently gone on the record saying Congress is to blame for the lack of a comprehensive cyber security plan in America.
Gregory Garcia, assistant secretary since 2006, warned congress to “have a coordinated, leadership-driven process, rather than letting all these committees go off freelancing with their next great idea.”
Garcia later said Congress “need to bring their committees together, sit them around the table … and make sure everybody understands what is their jurisdiction, what’s their responsibility, and what are the policy gaps.”
Currently, there are over eight committee across various branches that all deal with the national cyber security policy. In addition to the multitude of committees, legislation on the topic is varied and inconsistent often reflecting the wants and needs of individual lawmakers.
The statements by Garcia come after a report by the Government Accountability Office stating that the government IT system still remains open and vulnerable.
With the debating between committees and departments Garcia says, “we’re not making progress, we’re going off scattershot.”
A little over a month ago, Obama promised White House coordination and an appointment to the position dubbed the “Cyber Czar.” That position remains vacant.
When asked what Congress can do to help the private sector, Garcia doubted the effectiveness of more government regulations., but acknowledged that some private sector companies do not take cyber security seriously enough.
“There may be a time when the Congress gets fed up … and will declare market failure and regulate,” he said.