Lorton Letter: Understanding Cyber Security Challenge

Lorton Letter: Understanding Cyber Security Challenge

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

As our dependence on technology increases, so too does our vulnerability to cyber attacks and having our personal information used against us. We see attacks on private sector organizations like Target, JP Morgan, and most recently, Yahoo where a consumer's data is compromised and often exploited for financial gain. I find it even more disturbing, however, that similar attacks have occurred on government information systems, particularly those within the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the IRS. Just these two examples show that our government's information systems are less protected compared to those in many private sector organizations. I was also disturbed to learn from the Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee for Science, Space and Technology that a recent witness from the GAO rated the entire federal government’s cybersecurity as a “D.” Our entire federal government is failing in its mission to keep our information secure. This is unacceptable, and we need leaders who will work to keep our information from falling into the wrong hands.

That is why I am supporting Congresswoman Barbara Comstock this November. Being a victim herself of the 2015 OPM and IRS attacks, she understands the importance of securing our information and the damage that occurs when information is compromised. She has supported legislation (which has passed the House) that will increase the communication of cyber threats between federal and private sector organizations. Earlier this year, she engaged prominent leaders from the private sector in a hearing to discuss how the federal government can

improve its cyber readiness. Most importantly, she helped bring to light the serious vulnerabilities within the IRS’s online user system that led to cyber attacks in 2015 and 2016, releasing hundreds of thousands of

taxpayer records and millions of dollars in illicit tax refunds to criminals.

I trust Barbara Comstock because she has taken meaningful action on our behalf to keep our information secure, especially within federal information systems. We can’t avoid every attack in this day and age, but the more proactive we are in keeping our information secure, the better prepared we will be when future attacks occur. Barbara Comstock understands this fact, she is going to continue working to keep us secure, and I will be supporting her at the polls this November.

Vera Lichtenberg

Fairfax Station