The recent Russian attempt to influence the US presidential election has left the intelligence community with the conclusion that there is need for a far stronger cyberspace defense policy.

USA are constantly exposed to new threats that endanger the state of our nation, safety and privacy of the people and national security and stability.

Senators Declare US Cyber Security as Too Weak

There have been other similar threats in the past yet Congress' current policies to counter and respond to cyber attack is neither sufficient nor effective. There is urgent need to set up a permanent Senate select committee focused on cyber security, strategies, counter-measures and policies to guide them.

A report from a Congressional Research Service states that up to 20 standing committees shared between the representatives and the Senate held several hearings related to cyber security during the 114th Congress. This has only resulted in a poor course of action in response to the threats faced from cyber space attackers. It has also increased the threat from advanced and complex players who are ready to exploit our lapses.

Several attacks in the past have shown the need for a stronger US Cyber security policy but it seems the recent Russian hacks is the catalyst.

In 2015 alone, the Government Accountability Office Report stated that federal agencies and government contractors experienced 14 times more information security incidents as compared to 2006. In fact, 19 out 24 major federal agencies have poor security protocols and 41% of user accounts at 23 civilian agencies required secured credentials to have access.

The Office of Personnel Management(OPM) was hacked in 2014 by Chinese hackers and information of more than 22 million past and present employees were stolen. A stronger cyber security congressional structure might have prevented this. This was the largest data breach of a government body in history and should have aroused a better response from Congress. The Pentagon and other government agency servers are hit daily by malignant hackers. North Korea hacked Sony Pictures in 2014 and leaked private information. In 2015, reports revealed that a power company was compromised for as long as two years by hackers. Iran also attacked a New York dam as well as several other financial institutions.

Continued attacks like these could have adverse economic, military, health and financial implications on the US. There is need for a major responsive policy that can adapt to current and future technological advancements.

The plan is to introduce legislation for the creation of a permanent Senate selection on cybersecurity. This committee would have concentrated authority to complete investigations into cyber attacks and ensure appropriate measures are taken by the government agencies to identify cyber weaknesses, address upcoming threats and prevent future engagements.

Members of this committee would be made up of top members of committees with jurisdiction over cyber issues. They would have hearings, consider legislations and call witnesses for reports to update Congress and the citizens on progress made.

America has to be more proactive and ruthless in dealing with threats from cyberspace as this is one area USA are becoming vulnerable in.

Current investigations about Russia's apparent involvement to influence the US election is not to challenge the validity of the new administration but to help administer the necessary lessons and policies USA need to put to work to strengthen the country's stability against attacks.

History dictates that this must be done as our future as a nation is certainly dependent on how well US Government prepare today.