House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers took part in a panel discussion Sunday on Face the Nation wherein the assembled group of experts painted a rather frightening picture of the threat “cyber attacks” could potentially pose to our nation’s infrastructure, economy, and national security interests.
“We’re getting robbed every single day,” Rogers said during a panel discussion on the country’s growing cyber security threat. “We have, as the U.S. government, set up lawn chairs, told the burglars where the silver is – in the bottom drawer – and opened the case of beer and watched them do it.”
Rogers said the scope of vulnerabilities spans “personal identities to social security numbers to money from banks to intellectual property – the blueprints for jobs in the next generation with nation states like China.” Attackers, he continued, are looking at “shutting down our financial services or finding other ways to destroy material in companies that won’t allow them to function on a day-to-day basis. …We’ve seen that recently with Iran.”
“We’re getting robbed every single day. We have, as the U.S. government, set up lawn chairs, told the burglars where the silver is – in the bottom drawer – and opened the case of beer and watched them do it.”
Pretty scary/damning stuff.
So, what can be done?
“It’s very simple: Share information,” Rogers said. “Share cyber threat information. The senior leadership in the intelligence community said that they think we can stop 90 percent of our problems just by sharing classified cyber threat information.” He estimated “95 percent of our networks here in the United States, private sector networks, are incredibly vulnerable.”
Obviously, information sharing is but a first step toward ultimately protecting American interests, but it is at least a step in the right direction. Remember how after 9/11 most Americans were shocked by how little our intelligence agencies shared with one another? Remember how dumbfounding it was to hear that private citizens were giving flight instruction to potential terrorists and that when they passed that information along, it went on deaf ears? From what I know of the proposed legislation Rogers is supporting, it is intended to begin the process of eliminating some of these shortfalls in the cyber security realm before a threat becomes a national disaster.