Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen recently highlighted the risks cyberattacks pose to the U.S. and described some of the initiatives the Department of Homeland Security has launched to address them.
Secretary Nielsen said during a Sept. 5 speech at George Washington University that there is “a worldwide outbreak of cyberattacks and cyber vulnerabilities,” describing cyberspace as “the most active battlefield” whose coverage “extends into every single American home.”
Nielsen, a 2018 Wash100 awardee, said the DHS is monitoring both cyber criminals as well as adversarial states, most notably Russia and North Korea, whose deployment of malware last year resulted in “untold billions in damage.”
The DHS secretary went on to discuss some of the initiatives her agency has launched in response to these threats, including a cyber strategy focused on systemic risk and resilience, efforts to secure supply chains, and inter-agency partnerships to hold cyber attackers responsible.
“We will respond. And we will respond decisively,” Nielsen declared.
Secretary Nielsen also discussed the need for lawmakers to convert the National Protection and Programs Directorate, the DHS’ cybersecurity division, into an independent agency.
“I ask Congress to pass legislation immediately, and absolutely before the year ends,” Nielsen said.