U.S. Representative and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-TX, said he wants to create a new cybersecurity agency that could better coordinate overall U.S. cybersecurity efforts, Fed Scoop reports.
The new agency would focus on forming more public-private partnerships to address cyber incidents more effectively, McCaul said. It would be part of the Homeland Security Department, an agency that is already tasked with many cybersecurity efforts in the U.S.
"The enemy is winning in this war. Hackers have been making off with your financial data, your healthcare information and just weeks ago we saw them shutdown major websites like Paypal and Twitter," said McCaul during a recent speech. "Such attacks are only a fraction of what is possible."
McCaul is a prominent legislator and has focused far more than his peers on cybersecurity legislation. McCaul was once a leading contender for the secretary of Homeland Security position, but Trump nominated retired Marine Gen. John Kelly last week instead.
Earlier this year, the DHS and the Department of Justice released the final procedures for how the government will implement its Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, an effort to encourage businesses to share their threat information. The legislation encourages enterprises to coordinate with the government on information by offering them immunity and exemption from antitrust laws and Freedom of Information Act requests.
Even though the agency has rolled out its guidelines, many remain hesitant about so openly working with the government. But to defend networks, legislators like McCaul have emphasized that attitude must change. In an interview with CIO Dive, a DHS official emphasized that public-private collaboration can help mitigate attacks in real time.