Opening Statement By Chairman Daniel Lipinski
This morning the Research and Science Education Subcommittee will consider the Cybersecurity Research and Development Amendments Act of 2009.
The Subcommittee has held a series of hearings examining the state of cybersecurity R&D. At these hearings witnesses emphasized the need to better coordinate and prioritize the federal R&D portfolio, to improve partnerships between the federal government and the private sector, and to train an IT workforce that can meet the growing needs of both the public and private sectors. Our witnesses also stressed that cybersecurity research needs to encompass all stages of hardware and software design, from project management to social and behavioral factors arising from human-computer interactions.
The legislation we are considering today addresses these concerns. First, it requires federal agencies to develop and implement a strategic plan for the federal cybersecurity R&D portfolio. The plan must be based on an assessment of cybersecurity risk, to make sure that taxpayer dollars fund the R&D needed to meet the strategic needs of our country and to keep Internet users safe from cybercrime. The strategic plan will contain a description of how the program will transfer technology from our national labs and universities to industry, and how our federal R&D objectives complement, rather than duplicate R&D occurring in the private sector.
In addition to developing a strategic plan informed by industry and academia, the bill establishes a university-industry task force to explore mechanisms and models for carrying out collaborative research in cybersecurity.
The legislation addresses cybersecurity workforce needs for the federal government, and for the nation as a whole, by requiring an assessment of needs and providing scholarships and fellowships to students to pursue advanced degrees in cybersecurity-related fields.
Finally, the bill reauthorizes and expands NSF’s Trustworthy Computing program, placing a new emphasis on research into the social and behavioral aspects of cybersecurity, an important area identified by our witnesses.
Cyber threats are constantly evolving and cybersecurity R&D must evolve in concert through a combination of near-term fixes and long-term projects that build a more secure foundation. The Cybersecurity R&D Amendments Act will ensure an overall vision and an implementation plan for the federal cybersecurity R&D portfolio and will train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
I want to thank Members for their participation this morning and I look forward to a productive markup.