Cybersecurity experts urge Congress to do more to prevent cyberattacks

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Following a series of recent large-scale cyberattacks from foreign adversaries against the U.S., House lawmakers held two hearings Tuesday to determine how to better push back.

Cybersecurity experts urged Congress to do more to stop the increasingly expensive cyberattacks.

“Last year over 2,400 organizations were victims of ransomware attacks with a financial impact of nearly half a billion dollars,” said Kemba Walden, a digital security attorney for the Microsoft Corporation.

The panel said the government should provide more information, tools and funding directly to private companies.

Dr. Christian Dameff with UC San Diego Health said for hospitals, especially in rural areas, cybersecurity investment is a matter of life or death.

“Two months ago a ransomware attack disabled five large hospitals in the San Diego area for an entire month,” Dameff said.

On Monday, the United States and top allies blamed China for a recent ransomware attack against Microsoft.

Walden says the government can stave off hackers by cracking down on criminal’s use of cryptocurrency.

“There’s a lot to do,” Walden said. “Criminals are smart, they’re creative, they’re well financed and they’re not limited by borders. The security community must match this.”

A Senate committee just announced its plans to examine cryptocurrency’s role in cyberattacks. Lawmakers on both sides say they’re committed to getting something done.

“There’s no shortage of policy proposals being discussed,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo.

“This is a shared responsibility,” said Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.

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