In Response to Growing Threat from Iran, Delaney Renews Call for New Department of Cybersecurity

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – According to new reports, and a memo sent by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, the risk of cyberattack from Iran remains high.

John Delaney announced his plan to create a Department of Cybersecurity to address the growing cybersecurity threat facing the United States and bolster our national security overall.

“We cannot continue to risk our national security by ignoring the growing threat of cyberattack,” said Delaney. “These reports from the FBI on Iran’s ability to commit cyberattacks on our country should serve as a wake-up call. We’ve seen attacks from Russia on our elections, and we know that cyberattacks from China are a threat we need to take seriously. That is why I’ve called for a new Department of Cybersecurity led by a cabinet-level Secretary. This is too important not to have someone at the highest level whose sole focus is on countering this threat.” 

The entire plan is copied below, and can be found here:

Department of Cybersecurity

In response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, we created the Department of Homeland Security. In response to continued cyberattacks, we should create the Department of Cybersecurity.

As technology advances and threats evolve, the government must be able to adapt to new challenges it faces. That means ensuring the country has the strategy and infrastructure in place to best meet the challenges. In response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, experts identified weaknesses and recommended the creation of a new cabinet-level agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose sole focus would be to develop and coordinate efforts to protect the homeland. We need to approach the continued threat of cyberattacks in a similar way.

In recent years, there have been many high profile cybersecurity data breaches including in 2015 when the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced a data breach that compromised almost 22 million people’s personal information and during the 2016 election cycle when Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and attacked states’ election infrastructure. The United States is the most frequent target of targeted cyberattacks, and many systems that are critical to national security and daily life are vulnerable. Our electric grid is at risk of a cyberattack that could leave large parts of the country blacked out for days or weeks and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in economic costs. These threats undermine our security, hurt the economy, and can threaten democracy itself. Currently, the responsibility of cybersecurity is strewn across multiple agencies including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within DHS, the FBI within the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Cyber Command within the Department of Defense.

We need a central agency whose sole focus is to coordinate and implement U.S. cybersecurity strategy, which is why Delaney is proposing to elevate the cybersecurity mission by creating a Department of Cybersecurity, led by a cabinet-level secretary.