WASHINGTON, June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Electric grid advocacy group Protect Our Power today applauded the Senate Armed Services Committee for including in its annual defense policy bill provisions to implement 11 of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission's recommendations, including a call for studying "the feasibility and advisability" of creating a national cybersecurity director.
The Committee passed the bill on Wednesday on a 25-2 vote, and it will now head to a vote in the full Senate.
"Importantly, the bill as passed extends the Cyberspace Solarium Commission for another 16 months, so that it can continue to pursue adoption of the dozens of other cybersecurity recommendations contained in its March 2020 report," said Jim Cunningham, executive director of Protect Our Power.
"The Commission's report provides a detailed roadmap of necessary improvements to our critical national infrastructure, including the electric grid, and continuing that work is vital to creating a level of cybersecurity protection for our country that is equal to the sophisticated threats we face in today's world," Cunningham added.
As envisioned by the Commission, the national cyber director would be a Senate-confirmed position, housed in the Executive Office of the President, with budget and policy authority to coordinate cyber policy across the federal government.
"Our nation needs a cyber director, with White House level authority, to bring the focus, clarity and leadership necessary to oversee cybersecurity planning and defense across the disparate parts of the federal government, including the military, intelligence and critical infrastructure," Cunningham said. "It is especially important that we enhance the cybersecurity and resilience of the electric grid, since all other critical infrastructure relies on the grid for power to operate."
"We urge the full Senate and the House to pass 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, including the 11 Cyberspace Solarium Commission recommendations, in the final version of the bill," Cunningham said.
About Protect Our Power
Protect Our Power is a not-for-profit organization designed to build a consensus among key stakeholders, decision-makers and public policy influencers to launch a coordinated and adequately funded effort to make the nation's electric grid more resilient and more resistant to all external threats. POP is singularly and uniquely positioned as a non-partisan, unbiased thought leader able to serve as a convening, moderating, action-oriented voice.
SOURCE Protect Our Power (POP)