U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX, says the Department of Homeland Security needs its own cybersecurity agency to, among other things, facilitate federal government collaboration with the private sector.
McCaul, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, said DHS and the private sector urgently need to work together in "defending the nation’s critical infrastructure, including communications, the electric grid and nuclear energy," CSO Online reports.
Speaking to reporters at the National Press Club, McCaul said, "80% of the malicious codes are in the private sector ... We need the civilian agency to work with the private sector, but it also needs to defend itself. The private sector has responsibility."
McCaul said creation of a cybersecurity agency within DHS — which would give the U.S. improved cyber defense capabilities — is his top priority. McCaul also said he prefers to use a civilian agency to do such work rather than the military.
The federal government has been turning to the private sector for help managing cyberthreats in recent year. But the private sector is also the cause of many of those threats, and must therefore take responsibility for helping the government fight them, according to McCaul.
DHS has pushed to increase threat information sharing, creating a bridge between the public and private sector. But that's easier said than done considering the private sector is hesitant to share data, concerned they may be liable if found with lacking cybersecurity. Time and again, however, the DHS has emphasized that threat information sharing could benefit everybody involved.