WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, made the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, on the Subcommittee's hearing titled “Interagency Cyber Cooperation: Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities of DoD & DHS". For testimony and to watch the hearing click here.
"Welcome to this joint hearing of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities with the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection. Today we will examine interagency cyber cooperation and the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Holding this joint hearing has been a priority for subcommittee for the past few months and we are pleased that it has come together today. This is a timely opportunity to hear about recent interagency coordination efforts and the status of related FY2019 NDAA provisions.
"This is a critically important topic that will shape our oversight going forward as we consider the long-term policy frameworks needed for the United States cyber enterprise. Our committee, and ETC in particular, has performed significant oversight of the cyber organization, operations, and mission force development within the Department of Defense. With this joint hearing, we can now take a broader focus on the cyber organization and capabilities within the entire United States government.
"Cyber threats posed by both state and non-state adversaries continue to grow and evolve at a rapid pace.
"These threats are not just to our military weapons and systems, but also to our nation’s critical infrastructures. Attacks against the electric grid, the financial sector or our healthcare system could have profound impacts on our daily way of life and economic security. As we have seen in recent years, cyber attacks, such as WannaCry ransomware, can have significant adverse economic impacts, and bring the private sector and government services to a stand-still. And since the average response time to detect a cyber-attack is measured in months, not minutes or hours, we must improve our abilities to detect and respond to malicious cyber activity.
"This year, three important cyber strategies were released by the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security. These strategies all recognize the importance of a whole-of-government approach to addressing the challenges posed by securing our Nation in cyberspace. They will be an important step in building a cohesive U.S. cyber enterprise.
"And while this hearing isn’t solely about election security, it affords us the timely opportunity to hear about the significant interagency efforts recently aimed at ensuring the security of our 2018 midterms elections. Protecting the elections required a broad approach led by the Department of Homeland Security that included contributions from the Department of Defense and many other partners.
"Our subcommittee, in collaboration with the Homeland Security committee, has been active in addressing the issue of improving cooperation between the two Departments. In this year’s fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, we established a pilot program that allows the Department of Defense to provide technical cybersecurity personnel to the Department of Homeland Security in order to enhance security and resiliency of critical infrastructure. I look forward to hearing the status of this pilot program today.
"Also in this year’s NDAA, we created a National Security Artificial Intelligence commission that will be important in identifying the impact AI will have in the cyber domain.
"As our adversaries continue to improve at increasing speeds, we must similarly grow our abilities to defend against these threats. I believe that we will only be successful if the United States can leverage the capabilities and authorities of all its departments and agencies in a united approach. We must reduce wasted resources on overlapping and duplicative efforts in government to make sure that we are using our cyber defense resources sensibly.
"Both agencies here today have made great strides in building their cyber capabilities over the last few years. To build upon that progress, I firmly believe we need to continue to work to build interagency partnerships to ensure a whole-of-government approach to countering the growing cyber threat.
"Let me welcome our witnesses today:
• Ms. Jeanette Manfra, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security
• Mr. Kenneth Rapuano, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense & Global Security and Principal Cyber Advisor at the Department of Defense
• Lt. Gen. Bradford Shwedo, Director for Command, Control, Communications and Computers /Cyber and Chief Information Officer at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"We look forward to your testimony.
"Before I turn to my friend and Ranking Member Jim Langevin of Rhode Island for his opening comments, I would like to take a moment to thank him for his hard work and dedication over the past two years of the 115th Congress. I think we have done great things together, Jim, across all areas of our subcommittee jurisdiction. I truly look forward to working together in the next Congress and continuing the strong collaborative and bipartisan tradition of the Armed Services Committee, and this subcommittee in particular."