By Debbie Gregory.
More and more, we have become reliant on our cyber technology. Because of our dependence on the internet, it has never been more important to maintain the security of the World Wide Web. To that end, U.S. Representative Allyson Swartz (D-PA) has proposed House of Representatives Bill 1640, the Cyber Warrior Act of 2013. This bipartisan bill, if passed, will inaugurate the Cyber and Computer Network Incident Response Teams (CCNIRT), appropriately named “Cyber Guards”, as an offshoot of the National Guard. The bill will place cyber-teams statewide, as well as in the District of Colombia.
The bipartisan Cyber Warrior Act of 2013 was also introduced by Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY), Richard Hanna (R-NY), William Enyart (D-IL), and Steve Palazzo (R-MS). The bill is related to bipartisan Senate Bill S. 658, introduced in March, 2013.
“The threat of cyber-attacks is one of the most significant challenges facing our nation’s economy, security, and way of life,” explained Rep. Swartz.
The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) announced its support for the Cyber Warrior Act of 2013. NGAUS President Gus Hargett said, “The teams would rely primarily on part-time soldiers and airmen who already work as cyber-experts in the private sector.” Hargett further stated that this would enable the U.S. Military to utilize, at minimal cost, the highly-specialized talent that the NGAUS cannot afford to pay for full-time.
The cyber-security teams will consist of both active duty and traditional rotation National Guard members, with technological experience to protect our national cyber defenses. These teams will also be activated by the Secretary of Defense or state governors to train state and local law enforcement, plus other cyber responders, creating a cohesive interaction with the highly-skilled federal agencies.
Cyber security incidents at the federal level have more than doubled since 2006, escalating the need to implement new measures. Funding for the cyber security mission will be allotted from the NGAUS’ active duty budget.
The Secretary of Defense will oversee the Cyber Warrior Act of 2013, answering to Congress for the success of the CCNIRT teams.