May 29, 2009

Gillibrand Statement on Importance of Network Security

Washington, D.C. - With news that the FBI's computer and email system shut down due to a far-reaching virus, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement on the importance of protecting networks and online security, and praising President Obama's plans to name a cyber czar responsible for protecting America's network security:

"President Obama has made a great step forward to make our internet systems more secure by appointing a cyber czar and initiating a comprehensive review of our cyber security risks.  Today, everything from drinking water to electric systems, from financial institutions to military operations are tied into online systems that are vulnerable to viruses and other attacks.  Recently there have been attempts to access sensitive information at the FBI, NYPD and many other government and private sector computer systems. This not only imperils the security and safety of our military and security efforts - it endangers our nation's economy and the ability of our local law enforcement agencies to protect our citizens.

"President Obama's report will be a first step toward a solution that coordinates government and private sector resources to minimize vulnerabilities and ensure effective communication between all parts of the system.  As we move forward, I am particularly concerned by attacks targeting our financial sector and fundamental resources, which could devastate our economy and endanger the health and safety of millions of New Yorkers.

"I also believe that we must seek to work assertively, not only to protect ourselves from ongoing attacks, but to stop cyber security risks at the source.  That means getting more effective cooperation from countries that are the source of many of these viruses, such as Eastern Europe, Russia and China.  I plan to use my position on the Foreign Relations Committee to enhance our resources to help law enforcement and legal efforts overseas fight cyber crime and ensure that America's foreign policy makes cyber security a key issue as we consider our relationships with other nations."