Recent global affairs have shifted attention to our cybersecurity and that of our allies once again. Today, deterring a cybersecurity attacker tradecraft is just as crucial as repelling conventional kinetic attacks, perhaps even more so with our exponentially growing digital world. We must accordingly discuss, improve, and protect our cyber capabilities against all types of harm, especially considering the current state of Europe and Russia and China’s expansion into offensive cyber realms.

As Putin’s War in Ukraine and their push against the West continues without a clear end in sight — for all of its combatants — we must diligently guard against every type of attack, whether on land, in the air, up in space, at sea, or in the digital realms. Experts have warned of impending cyberattacks against our nation’s critical infrastructure and significant U.S companies for years, but Congress is considering legislation could have serious unintended consequences on America’s continued status as the global tech leader. As our private sector continues to innovate and work with the national security community to safeguard against such aggression, legislators in Washington, DC, must understand and act on the crucial lane of protecting our technological advantages and the innovators who are necessary to ensure our cyber warriors are in the best position to protect us when needed most – today and in the future.

Now is the time for all of our lawmakers on all sides to champion our nation’s digital security and technological innovation, not double down on misguided policies that would disconnect our pioneers from the world stage and place our national security interests at risk.

Pursuing legislative reforms that will inevitably hamper our tech sector will, in turn, empower Russia, China, and other international bad actors. Our technological leadership has helped enable citizens of our nation and the world to make their voices heard and foster a free an open internet. Yet, our geopolitical rivals use cyber to silence their constituents, cutting them off from the world and democracy itself by spreading fake news and imprisoning those who speak out and stand up for democracy and freedom on our planet.

During my tenure of service within the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), these conversations were already prevalent throughout our intelligence and national security communities. Suppose we do not continue to adapt and press the envelope on our technological superiority. In that case, our nation is setting ourselves up for vulnerabilities with widespread consequences in weakening our cyber capabilities. For example, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) this past month initiated a countdown to April 14, 2030, the date CSA estimates a quantum computer will be able to break the present-day cybersecurity infrastructure.

Every roadblock placed in the way of technological innovation allows those with diametrically opposed worldviews to inch closer to interrupting our status as a world power. Our citizens need this security, but we also demand it from our leaders across all parties.

My experiences in the trenches of cybersecurity tell me that all of our allies and non-allies are investing more money, training, planning, policy, and strategy. They do not ask for immediate results today, knowing it may take generations, which could be less than a decade in the virtual world, to get it right at both the tactical and strategic level of cybersecurity.

In past conflicts, we could see and touch enemy combatants. Since the 9-11 attack on our nation, we now know our enemies can live amongst us. It becomes easier every day to hide from our security measures within the cyber realm. At the same time, these bad actors continuously attempt, and sometimes succeed, to attack hundreds of thousands of times a day.

Cloud Security Alliance and many other cyber contractors provide solutions to combat cloud and cybersecurity threats. Still, our nation must support investments in our cybersecurity capabilities to keep our nation safe today and future.

As the White House asked Congress to boost cybersecurity to record levels, Congress already approved $2.6 billion for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA). This is only a drop in the bucket of what will be needed to ensure our citizens are kept safe from a growing Russian and Chinese advances in offensive cyber.

We ask Congress to enact a decades-long strategic plan to increase cybersecurity funding, support our technological innovators, maintain our country as the leading world power on this planet, and keep our people and infrastructure safe from attacks on us and our democratic way of life.

Gen. Robert Felderman is a retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army. During his time in the service, he served as deputy director of plans, policy and strategy at U.S. Northern Command, and he is a University of Dubuque graduate.

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