On June 14, 2016, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced the creation of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus to help coordinate cybersecurity efforts across Senate committees and keep lawmakers and staffers up-to-date on cyber policy. 

In their press release announcing the creation of the Caucus, Senator Gardner cited evolving cyber threats as a reason for starting the effort and a need for a “grand strategy” that is “adaptable to technological developments and the ever-changing cyber field.”

In his comments, Senator Warner characterized cybersecurity as “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation.” Senator Warner also pointed out the need for coordination in Congress on the issue, as nine Senate committees in the current Congress have held a range of hearings on the issue including on topics such as protecting taxpayer information from cyber theft, the development of deterrent technologies targeted at foreign actors, and the need to secure U.S. infrastructure against intrusion. 

According to their press release, cyber-attacks account for up to $120 billion in economic and intellectual property loss annually in the United States and costs the average American firm more than $15 million per year. In an effort to address these attacks, the Cybersecurity Caucus will provide “unique opportunities to inform Senators on the major cyber policy issues facing Congress, introduce Senators and their staff to leading cybersecurity experts, and promote bipartisan and cross-jurisdictional discussions on this important issue.”

The Caucus mirrors a 2008 effort in the House of Representatives led by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Congressman Mike McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, to provide a forum for members representing different committees of jurisdiction to discuss the challenges in securing cyberspace. The website for the House of Representatives Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus can be found here

Reporter, Stephen Abreu, San Francisco, +1 415 318 1219, sabreu@kslaw.com