After eight long years as one of Congress’ key leaders on all things cybersecurity, retiring Republican Rep. John Katko is no doubt proud of his - and other colleagues - in helping create, fund, and grow the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
After eight long years as one of Congress’ key leaders on all things cybersecurity, retiring Republican Rep. John Katko is no doubt proud of his - and other colleagues - in helping create, fund, and grow the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Says Katko, ““CISA didn’t exist when I started in Congress…We helped stand up CISA and we helped make CISA a young but mature agency that is becoming more and more effective by the minute. That’s huge.” Yeet Katko also pauses with a bit of anxiousness, knowing full well that well-funded agencies can turn into organizations with billions of dollars and thousands of bureaucrats, something the fiscally minded Republican worries about.
“As CISA matures as an agency and becomes more firmly established and better funded, whether or not to turn it into a regulatory behemoth or continuing to work the way it’s working very well now, that’s a natural progression of ideas and discussions,” Katko said, preferring a model that is about “bringing industry to the table and building trust.”
Regardless of where CISA is headed, Katko agrees that somebody must fight the good fight against growing cybersecurity threats against the United States. He readily acknowledges the dangers of cybersecurity attacks against critical infrastructure and is well-aware of state sponsored hackers from the likes of China, Russian, North Korea, and Iran.
And thankfully, cybersecurity still seems to carry an enormous amount of bipartisan support in Congress. Said House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), “Early in his time on this committee, ranking member Katko became a leader and innovator on aviation security, and more recently, he has made his mark on the committee’s cybersecurity work…The ranking member and I did not always agree, but we agreed when we could. And when we disagreed, we tried not to be disagreeable about it.”
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