By Patrick Murphy
The national and international security threat posed by ISIS requires us to use every tool at our disposal to degrade and ultimately destroy the terror group. As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I believe cybersecurity should play an even greater role in the nation’s multifaceted strategy to combat ISIS, which includes airstrikes and support to our Arab partners.
ISIS already has threatened cyberattacks against the United States and, last year, demonstrated its desire to target our country when it briefly took control of U.S. Central Command’s Twitter account. To prepare for more cyberattacks from ISIS and other terrorist organizations, we must do more to secure our systems, including the digital networks employed by critical infrastructure.
That is why I have called for policy to better protect our nation’s ports from cyber threats. To name one example, I drafted a provision of the Intelligence Authorization Act that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives. It is designed to give Congress the fullest possible understanding of the cyber threat to our nation’s seaports and maritime shipping concerns. This will help policymakers better shield our infrastructure from exploitation by criminals and terrorist groups like ISIS.
I also supported last year’s Cybersecurity Act, which establishes a framework to incentivize the voluntary sharing of cyber threat information between industry and the government. Entities that support our troops, possess our citizens’ most personal information, and make our country run will receive liability protection in exchange for sharing cyber threat information under this new law. It will also strengthen network security by allowing real time sharing of threats and permitting shared threat information to be used to prosecute terrorists who commit cyberattacks.
We are making similar strides in other areas. With ISIS’ digital presence in mind, I have joined my colleagues in advocating for a more sustained, multilateral effort to develop further and clarify norms and principles that govern cyber activities — including the sharing of cyber threat information with partners and cooperation to prosecute terrorists who spread their hatred online. I also continue to support efforts to map out how the law of war applies to 21st century cyber activities.
We must do all we can to protect the American people and our national security from those who wish to do us harm. By bolstering cyber efforts, we are giving those who protect us the digital tools it needs to stop ISIS and other terrorist groups.
U.S. Rep. Patrick E. Murphy represents the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast in Congress. He serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Financial Services Committee. He is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate
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