Bipartisan Bill Pushes Cyber Literacy to Counter Attacks
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) introduced the American Cybersecurity Literacy Act. This bipartisan legislation would require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish a cybersecurity literacy campaign to increase knowledge and awareness of cybersecurity risks among the American public, including best practices for preventing cyberattacks.
“Cybersecurity attacks and data breaches are increasingly common, costing private companies and consumers billions of dollars and exposing the private information of countless Americans. As attackers become more sophisticated, Americans must have the tools to identify risks and protect themselves from attacks,” said Congresswoman Eshoo (CA-18). “That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to strengthen Americans’ cybersecurity knowledge and encourage safe practices.”
“Over the past few months, we have seen rampant cyberattacks across the United States that have disrupted business, increased consumer costs, and threatened our national security. As technological advancements increase and become more complex, it is critical that everyone is aware of the risks posed from cyberattacks and how to mitigate those risks for personal security,” said Congressman Kinzinger (IL-16). “In order to prevent these attacks going forward, we must combine public awareness with targeted cyber education. I am proud to introduce this legislation with my colleagues and look forward to working on this effort to help thwart future cyberattacks on all Americans.”
“In recent months we have seen disruptive cyberattacks on some of our nations’ most critical infrastructure systems, such as the Colonial Pipeline. In my district, a hacker was recently able to penetrate a local government’s security measures and temporarily change the chemical settings of the city’s water supply to a potentially dangerous level. Fortunately, the breach was discovered before anyone was in danger. However, these incidents underscore the importance of fortifying and modernizing our critical infrastructure to prevent further attacks,” said Congressman Bilirakis (FL-12). “This bipartisan legislation will develop a national education campaign to raise awareness of attacks and the practical steps that can be taken to thwart future bad actors. This is a matter of national security and we must do everything we can to protect all Americans from those who wish to do us harm.”
“Congress expanding internet availability to millions across our country has underscored the importance for all Americans to know how to properly protect themselves online,” said Congressman Veasey (TX-33). “The American Cybersecurity Literacy Act will provide federal resources to educate our constituents on how to do everything from properly identifying secure websites to knowing about the potential cybersecurity risks of using publicly-available Wi-Fi networks. Ensuring that all Americans have the tools to protect themselves against harmful cyber-attacks make us all safer in the long run.”
“The attacks on our cyber infrastructure are one of the gravest threats we face as a nation,” said Congresswoman Houlahan. “We have a responsibility to the American people to ensure that they and their businesses have the necessary tools to defend against the rise in threats. That's exactly why we've introduced our bipartisan legislation - to ensure that we have what we need to secure our cyberspace against attackers, both foreign and domestic. In the rapidly evolving digital space, we have to do more than just keep up with those who wish us harm – we need to be two steps ahead. I am proud to partner with Representatives Kinzinger and Eshoo on this legislation.”
The full text for H.R. 4055, the American Cybersecurity Literacy Act can be found here.