Warnings and prescriptions offered by NCSL’s cybersecurity panel
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Posted by: Martha Hill
With news of another high-profile hack coming with some frequency, a recent panel discussion at the NCSL Legislative Summit could not have been more timely. The National Conference of State Legislators hosted “Cybersecurity Showdown: Challenges and Strategies for States or U.S. Economic Outlook” on Aug. 10, with industry experts educating legislators about the dangers and potential responses surrounding cyber crime.
“Cyber threats have enormous implications for government security, economic prosperity and public safety,” said Representative Max Tyler of Colorado (D), moderator of the panel discussion.
Andrew Bochman of the Idaho National Laboratory, Joe Demarest of Ernst and Young, and Ashwini Jarral from the IJIS Institute spoke about public and private cyber security challenges and possible strategies to prevent attacks.
Attacks increase, programs offered
Bochman informed attendees of a cyber attack that led to a blackout in Ukraine. He urged legislators to take security lessons from the attack home to protect from similar incidents on U.S. soil. Public-private partnerships and cyber attack simulations could help improve the public response to cyber stresses on the energy grid, he said.
Federal agencies’ self-reported incidents of security hacks exponentially increased in the past decade, according to research from Jarral and the IJIS Institute. In 2006, there were only 5,500 reported cases of attack, but in 2014, this figure rose to over 67,000. Also in 2014, there were over a billion consumer record stolen, the three most popular victims of hacks being taxi and limousine companies (173 million), e-commerce companies (145 million), and credit bureau agencies (104 million).