December 16, 2014


Law provides the beginnings of effective cyberprotection for defense contractors in the San Fernando Valley and throughout America.


(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) successfully passed his first piece of legislation in the 113th session of Congress this week, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Cárdenas’ law will help protect Valley businesses from foreign hacking and other cyber threats.

While hacking and cyber crimes have come into sharp scrutiny in Los Angeles with the hacking of Sony emails, more than 200,000 cyber incidents involving federal agencies, companies that run critical infrastructure like nuclear power plants, dams and transit systems and contract partners occurred in 2013.

Cárdenas’ legislation was contained within the NDAA, which passed the Senate late last week, after passing the House last month. Now, the bill will go to the President’s desk for an expected signature.

“Defending our nation is not limited to military bases and warzones,” said Cárdenas. “Every year thousands of attempts are made to break into critical systems in our government, through small businesses who may not have robust computer security. We must work with small businesses in our country to make certain that none of these attempts succeed.”

Cárdenas originally filed an amendment to the NDAA in May, mandating cybertraining and education by the Defense Department for small businesses that contract with the Pentagon. Included in these would be hundreds of San Fernando Valley contractors who manufacture parts and technologies for the United States government.

“Los Angeles and the Valley are driven by manufacturing,” said Cárdenas. “Many of these manufacturers support the brave men and women who defend our country. We have to protect the intellectual property of these companies from hacking, and we absolutely must safeguard the technologies that protect our warfighters.”

87 million sensitive or private records have been exposed through breaches of federal networks since 2006. Currently, more than 35 percent of cyber intrusions are not detected by civilian agencies, and nearly half of all federal cybersecurity incidents were caused by federal employees or contractors.

The Defense Department has already committed more than $20 million to combat electronic and Internet threats.

The conference committee, that made the changes that became the final, approved version of the NDAA, began the process of creating Cardenas’ proposed education schemes by directing the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to prepare a report on gaps and weaknesses in these areas of cybersecurity.

Following that report, due in November of 2015, changes called for by the Cárdenas amendment will be undertaken by the Defense Department and the Small Business Administration.