TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 7331, the “National Cyber Director Act.” This bipartisan legislation would elevate cybersecurity decision-making and coordination at the White House. This legislation would assist in coordinating and deconflicting the U.S. government’s planning and preparation for, and response to, cyber threats across government. Equally important, it would codify the requirement for the U.S. government to work as the senior point of contact for the American business community, which finds itself on the front line of the cyber domain.* We believe that H.R. 7331 is an important step in the right direction.
The National Cyber Director (NCD) would fulfill a similar role as the cybersecurity coordinator, but the position would be backed with statutory authority to serve as the president’s principal advisor on cybersecurity strategy and policy, review cyber budgets, and coordinate the nation’s response to significant cyber incidents.
The creation of an NCD is one of the key recommendations of the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a Congressionally-chartered group that includes members of Congress, the Administration, and private-sector leaders. We believe that the codification of this position which has existed in some form across several presidential administrations would assist the American business community in navigating federal policy initiatives and interagency processes, as well as in responding to future cyber events.
Further, businesses would rely on the NCD to help negotiate with federal agencies on key domestic and international cyber priorities. The NCD would send a signal to the public, including U.S. allies, that the White House prioritizes cybersecurity in the attention of the National Security Council and the president.
Congress’ leadership is crucial as the business community collaborates with policymakers to strengthen the cybersecurity of American businesses and governmental bodies against malicious actors. We look forward to the passage of H.R. 7331.
Neil L. Bradley
[*] Legislation is also needed to prioritize a high-level cyber coordinator at the Department of State. This individual would direct U.S. engagement with the international community on issues including investigation, attribution, threat information sharing, response, capacity building, standards, and norms.