Warning that the United States is engaged in or at the brink of cyber war, U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) called for a national doctrine of cyber deterrence during two separate hearings on Thursday.
King spoke about the importance of a national cybersecurity policy during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone’s nomination to serve as director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, and during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on energy infrastructure.
“We are either at war now or at the brink of war, and the war is in cyber,” King said during the Armed Services hearing. “And it’s a multi-front war, and it’s a complex war, and as my colleagues have pointed out, we don’t have a strategy for dealing with that war, and especially we don’t have a strategy for deterring that war.”
Like the Obama Administration, King said the Trump Administration has not taken appropriate steps to address the issue.
“We are under attack, and our adversaries feel no consequences,” King said. “They fear no results, they fear no response. And until we deal with that, we’re going to continue to be under attack, and what concerns me is that the attacks are going to escalate.”
During the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, King reiterated that there Is “no coherent strategy of deterrence in the cyber realm.”
“We can’t keep patching software,” King said. “Ultimately, people who are making a calculation as to whether to attack us have to believe there will be a response, whether in the cyber field, or sections, or some other area.”