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Senators Offer Cybersecurity Recommendations for Commerce Department, NIST

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Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., have called on the Department of Commerce (DOC), including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to further build up efforts to protect digital systems, connected technologies and the country from cybersecurity threats amid the recent ransomware attacks.

In a July 28th letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the two lawmakers urged the department to demonstrate new and existing cyber capabilities, develop the cybersecurity workforce and ensure resilient supply chains.

DOC should also expand research in emerging technologies, such as quantum technology, artificial intelligence, advanced communications and internet of things (IoT), to help address cybersecurity challenges, according to the letter.

Cantwell and Wicker also called on the department to update and advance the adoption of software supply chain best practices in compliance with the Biden administration’s executive order on cybersecurity.

They said DOC, including NIST, should deepen its critical cybersecurity role with “funding that matches the seriousness of the threat.”

“The President’s Budget Request to level-fund NIST cybersecurity programs, while requesting significant increases across the agency, is insufficient to meet the need,” the letter reads.

Cantwell is chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Wicker is the Senate panel's ranking member.

Supply Chain Cybersecurity: Revelations and Innovations

ExecutiveBiz, sister site of GovConDaily and part of the Executive Mosaic digital media umbrella, will host a virtual event about securing the supply chain on Oct. 26. Visit ExecutiveBiz.com to sign up for the “Supply Chain Cybersecurity: Revelations and Innovations” event.