House lawmakers advanced this week a measure designed to bolster protections against state-sponsored cyber activity threats aimed at the United States.
The Cyber Deterrence and Response Act of 2018 protects the nation’s economy, elections, and infrastructure from cyber activity by establishing a framework to deter and respond to future cyber attacks here.
“In recent years, foreign adversaries have developed sophisticated cyber capabilities that can disrupt our networks, threaten our critical infrastructure, harm our economy and undermine our elections,” Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) said. “Consistent with the State Department’s recommendation to the president on deterrence in cyberspace, this bill will ensure swift, powerful and transparent consequences against bad actors online.”
Royce said a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors estimated malicious cyber activity cost the nation’s economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016 alone. He also acknowledged it is not just the economic cost of cyber incidents to which there should be a concern, but also physical costs to the online attacks.
“This bill would require the president to impose sanctions from a menu of options against any critical cyber threat actor,” Royce said. “Finally, the bill calls on the president to coordinate designations and sanctions with our allies and partners to maximize their effectiveness. The secretary of state is to lead an international diplomatic initiative to deter state-sponsored cyber activities and provide mutual support to our allies and partners to respond to malicious cyber incidents.”