Democratic Senator Proposes Bills to Boost State and National Cyber Deterrence

Last week, Democratic Senator Gary Peters of Michigan introduced two bills that would better prepare the United States at the state and national level against cyberattacks. The first bill, the Continuity of Economy Act, would require President Trump to create a national response plan in the event of a major cyberattack that disables the economy or critical services. The second bill, the National Guard Cyber Interoperability Act, would funnel more resources into the National Guard to provide support at the state level for cyber deterrence.

Sen. Peters pointed to the need to defend against foreign attacks in his press release for the bills: “Cyberattacks are one of the greatest threats to our national security and the United States is not sufficiently prepared to defend itself in cyberspace or recover from a significant cyber disruption. Our adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran are constantly probing our critical infrastructure and government systems to identify weaknesses that could be exploited in the event of a conflict.”

His press release specifically cited recent recommendations by the Cyber Solarium Commission as the impetus for his proposed legislation. As we reported in our blog, “National Defense Authorization Act Critical Vehicle for Cyber Security Legislation,” there has been momentum on the Hill towards making the Commission’s recommendations a reality. We applaud Sen. Peters for his leadership on this issue, particularly regarding increased cybersecurity funding at the state level. State and local cyber attacks have become increasingly common during this telecommuting era, and coordination between state and federal officials when it comes to cyber deterrence is key.