Good timing for Sen. Joe Lieberman: the night before he's slated to lay out his vision for a comprehensive remake of the nation's cybersecurity laws, his colleagues on the House Ethics Committee were dealing with the fallout of a major cybersecurity breach.
In a speech this morning at the Chamber of Commerce, Lieberman, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will outline legislation that includes the step of making president's cyber coordinator a Senate confirmed position. The White House, which has not named its cyber coordinator, wants the position to be accountable only to the National Security Adviser.
"We need this kind of position in the White House specifically to ensure that the classified work conducted by Department of Defense and intelligence agencies is informing the defensive actions taken by our domestic agencies. Only the Office of the President has the authority to ensure that everyone is working off the same playbook. The person who fills this position would also develop a true national cyber security strategy and ensure that each agency's operational activities are in line with that vision," Lieberman plans to say.
Lieberman's bill will give the Department of Homeland Security the authority and personnel to monitor federal civilian networks and defend against malicious traffic. As Lieberman notes, the DHS has this authority by executive order but does not have the resources or institutional cooperation to do the job.