Cyber-security officials speak on threat preparedness

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Some of the nation’s top cyber-security officials testified before Congress Thursday about our preparedness for cyber attacks.

But members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, including Iowa’s Joni Ernst, didn’t like what they heard.

Senator John McCain says the United States is not prepared to handle cyber threats. 

The top cyber officials from FBI, Department of Defense and Homeland Security testified Thursday, but the main witness did not show up. 

McCain said, “Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the White House declined to have its cyber coordinator testify, citing executive privilege.”

McCain called the move unconstitutional, and members from both parties slammed the White House for keeping its cyber security coordinator from testifying. 

Much of the hearing focused on the 2016 election, and how the United States can prevent Russians from meddling in future elections. 

“Cyber is an attempt to destroy a democracy and that’s what Mr. Putin is all about,” said McCain 

Senator Joni Ernst wanted to make sure the agencies’ cyber-programs are effective. 

Ernst said she wants to make sure the agencies are working together. 
“We need to think about collaborations between those agencies and we also need to know what the capabilities of our forces are moving forward.” 

Many of the senators urged the agencies to develop a comprehensive plan before the next cyber attack.