Senator Warner Speaks to Security Clearance Reform and National Cybersecurity at June 22 Event

On June 22, in a sold out event, over 100 members of the technology community came together for a special conversation with Senator Mark Warner on building a national cybersecurity doctrine and security clearance reform. The event took place at the George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, with George Washington University as the Exclusive Sponsor. The gathering was supported by the NVTC Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure and Cybersecurity Committees.

Sen. Warner, who serves as the Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, opened the discussion, highlighting cybersecurity as a critical national security issue impacting national defense, the economy and healthcare. As global adversaries continue to make deep investments in their cybersecurity warfare capabilities, Sen. Warner stressed the urgent need for a new national cybersecurity doctrine to combat these threats.

Sen. Warner shared how the rapid expansion of the cyber threat domain attributed to the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices is requiring new national cybersecurity standards. He recognized the need for tougher standards around social media and voice identity validation and called for stronger standards and collaboration among companies to protect users’ data privacy.

Sen. Warner went on to discuss the crucial need to reform and expedite the security clearance process, identifying how the backlog of security clearance investigations, which has risen to over 740,000 open investigations, is a national security crisis. In fact, the average security clearance process lasts 540 days. Central to security clearance reform will be security clearance reciprocity among government agencies and leveraging technology to conduct interviews remotely. Sen. Warner also called for amplified criminal records sharing among states, government and universities, and penalizing states and organizations that don’t comply.

During a question and answer session, Sen. Warner further accentuated the need for a cyber doctrine. He spoke to the necessity of increasing engagement from members of Congress around cybersecurity issues and leveraging the latest technology to improve cybersecurity protection.

Following his remarks, Sen. Warner met with George Washington University students from the College of Professional Studies to discuss new ways to engage students in cybersecurity career pathways, and deepen exposure and apprenticeship opportunities for current students in government and the private sector.

Sen. Warner addressed the crowd at a special NVTC event on cybersecurity and security clearance reform on June 22.