During Senate Hearing, U.S. Cyber Command Chief Highlights Importance of Rosen’s Bipartisan Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve Bill

Watch Senator Rosen’s Remarks Here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) asked the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, Gen. Paul Nakasone, about the importance of having a civilian cyber reserve to support U.S. Cyber Command’s cyberspace operations. Last Congress, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve Act to establish a civilian cyber security reserve program to provide surge capacity in response to significant cyber incidents. A provision based on this bipartisan legislation was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, laying the groundwork for establishing a civilian cybersecurity reserve at the Department of Defense.

As the first and only former computer programmer to serve in the Senate, Senator Rosen has been a leader in the fight to strengthen cybersecurity for America’s critical infrastructure and defend the United States from cyberattacks. Last Congress, Senator Rosen introduced her bipartisan Healthcare Cybersecurity Act, which would improve cybersecurity in the Health Care and Public Health Sector. Senator Rosen has introduced bipartisan bills to bolster the cybersecurity of medical devices and records from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the latter of which was signed into law. Last year, she led a bipartisan group of 22 senators in a letter to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for a briefing on how the Department of Homeland Security is protecting Americans from possible Russian cyberattacks. 

Below is an excerpt of the exchange: 

ROSEN: Last year’s [Senate] NDAA, as reported out of this committee, included my Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve Act, bipartisan legislation I introduced with Senator Blackburn to create a Civilian Cyber Reserve that ensures additional cyber capacity for CYBERCOM at times of greatest need. 

And this year, of course, I look forward to working with the Chairman to ensure this critically important legislation will be included in the final conference [bill].

I was hoping, General, that you could discuss the value of reserve models, including the value of a potential civilian cybersecurity reserve, to support your cyberspace operations?

NAKASONE: Senator, first of all, thank you for your support of U.S. Cyber Command and, in general, the work we do in cyberspace – it begins with humans. 

So this idea of being able to have many more analysts, many more operators, many more developers is something that is part and parcel to our success in the future.