A bipartisan group of senators is trying to beef up the nation's cybersecurity defenses by way of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Angus King, I-Maine, would like to see the National Guard step in and help protect America's computer networks.
"Historically, the NDAA has not really been a place where Congress has worked to advance key cybersecurity priorities," Hassan said. "I think that needs to change."
She added, "The National Guard has significant cyber expertise. We just wanted to make it very clear that they have the authority."
Portman told the Journal that local and state governments need help in protecting their networks from cyberattacks.
"We think it would really help on coordination, best practices, the sharing of threat information," he said. "At the state and local level, often we lack the resources and the technical know-how, and sometimes the situational awareness because we don't have the big picture."
Maine's Portland Press Herald reported this week that King indicated the next major attack on the U.S. will likely be cyber-related.
"I believe the next Pearl Harbor will be cyber. That's going to be the attack that attempts to bring this country to its knees, and as we've learned in the pandemic, we have vulnerability, and we have to prepare for it," King said on the Senate floor.
President Donald Trump vowed this week to veto the National Defense Authorization Act if an amendment by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that would force the removal of Confederate names from U.S. military installations is included.
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