Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called for increased cybersecurity measures in a recent interview with Fox News.
Senator Blackburn’s remarks come in response to the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which has greatly impacted gas prices and accessibility levels across several states.
“One of the things that is disappointing to me, whether it is a hack on a federal agency, or this attack on our critical infrastructure— we still have individuals who have thought, well this doesn’t happen that often so we don’t need to be that worried about it,” Blackburn expressed in the interview.
A ransomware gang known as “Darkside” targeted the pipeline, which brings oil from Texas to northeastern locations throughout the United States. The group has carried out multiple attacks across the United States and Europe. The attack has shut down production completely. In response, gas prices have risen across the southern and eastern parts of the country. Further, officials say the attack could lead to shortages of gas in multiple states.
“Because when a cyberattack happens, what we know is you cannot lose time. Time is precious when it comes to assessing the situation, getting your arms around it, and being able to remediate that situation,” Blackburn added.
In previous proposed legislation, Blackburn has advocated for certain enhanced cybersecurity measures. Specifically, last year, as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act, a pilot program was created to expand the abilities of the National Guard to provide technical assistance in response to cyberattacks.
Additionally, Blackburn and Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced legislation last week that would create a pilot Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve program to assist the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with cybersecurity-trained civilian personnel.
“This would ensure we’ve got the hands on deck that we are going to need to address some of these vulnerabilities,” said Blackburn.
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