Reps. Kim and Wilson Introduce Bill to Strengthen Cybersecurity Response by National Guard
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) introduced the National Guard Cybersecurity Support Act, a bill that would strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity by giving governors the ability to decide when and how to deploy their state’s National Guard to respond to cybersecurity threats against critical government programs and information systems.
“Being ready to tackle the next generation of cyber threats requires a defense that can move quickly and decisively. Right now, our governors can’t act with the speed they need to keep our neighbors safe,” said Congressman Kim. “I’m proud to work together with Congressman Wilson to bring this bipartisan solution forward that will be a gamechanger for our states in fighting back against cyber-attacks. I know we can get this passed into law, and we’re going to work together to make sure our policies match the speed of the threats we face.”
“I am grateful to join Congressman Andy Kim in introducing the National Guard Cybersecurity Support Act to ensure the tremendous men and women of the National Guard are able to support state and local governments and defend their critical infrastructure from cyber-attack,” said Congressman Wilson. “Last year, the Bluffton Township Fire District and Jasper County were the victims of ransomware attacks, which are increasing nationwide. This legislation clarifies existing law to ensure bureaucratic red-tape never stands in the way of our National Guard responding to the interests of South Carolinians.”
In states across the country, National Guard cyber protection teams support active duty military and respond to cyber threats and attacks. Currently, these units are deployed through the Department of Defense who utilize policy memorandums to provide guidance on the use of National Guard on these missions. This bill would strengthen readiness and responsiveness of states in the face of increasing cybersecurity attacks that could impact agencies like departments of motor vehicles, the administration of elections, and the distribution of critical state aid.
“National Guard cyber teams have the skills and desire to help state and local and governments protect critical infrastructure from hackers. Unfortunately, outdated laws and regulations stand in the way,” said retired Brig. Gen. J. Robinson, the NGAUS president. “The National Guard Cybersecurity Support Act removes those barriers. It would allow governors to use the Guard to harden critical networks. At the same time, it would provide these teams with great training. It’s win-win. Thank you to Rep. Kim and Rep. Wilson for their common-sense legislation.”
Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee. The Congressman is also a co-chair of the House Democratic National Security Task Force. Prior to serving in the House, Congressman Kim worked as a career public servant under both Democrats and Republicans. He served at USAID, the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House National Security Council, and in Afghanistan as an advisor to Generals Petraeus and Allen. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.
Congressman Joe Wilson is a member of the House Armed Services Committee where he serves on the subcommittees for Readiness and Strategic Forces. He is also a member of the Foreign Affairs and Education and Labor Committees. More information on Congressman Wilson can be found on his website here.