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Senator Calls for Independent Cybersecurity Agency to Safeguard Consumer Data

 |  May 14, 2024

Senator Peter Welch of Vermont is spearheading efforts to establish a specialized federal agency to combat cybersecurity threats and protect sensitive data.

In a recent session of the Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security, Senator Welch emphasized the urgent need for a dedicated agency to address the evolving challenges posed by cyber threats targeting small businesses and consumers. Proposing the Digital Platform Commission Act, Welch advocated for the creation of a new independent federal entity to bolster cybersecurity measures and enhance data protection protocols.

Addressing the Subcommittee, Senator Welch highlighted the inadequacies of existing frameworks in combating cyberattacks, stressing the necessity for a specialized agency equipped with the requisite resources and expertise. Drawing parallels with established regulatory bodies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Welch underscored the importance of establishing a digital commission capable of effectively responding to the dynamic nature of cyber threats.

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“We can’t keep up with all the changes and all the methodologies by which there is hacking. I think the time has come where we actually need an agency — a digital commission — much like, say, the FTC or the FCC, that is properly staffed, properly resourced and has the capacity to keep up,” Welch asserted during the hearing.

Furthermore, Senator Welch solicited insights from industry experts on strategies to empower individuals and small businesses in implementing cost-effective cybersecurity measures to safeguard their data against potential breaches. Recognizing the pivotal role of proactive cybersecurity measures in mitigating risks, Welch’s advocacy underscores a concerted effort to bridge existing gaps in cybersecurity infrastructure and fortify defenses against emerging threats.

Source: WCAX