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Congress playing catch up on cybersecurity ahead of 2024 election

No company or individual ever wants to utter the words “I’ve been hacked.” And yet, the possibility of a cybersecurity breach is now a reality that everyone, including Capitol Hill, the Biden administration, industry and everyday Americans live with. The rise of artificial intelligence adds a new dimension to an already complicated matter.

That’s why our latest editorial project, The Future of Cybersecurity, will devote the next four weeks to covering the issue as Cybersecurity Awareness Month gets underway. We’ll delve into the efforts in Congress and the administration to regulate it, the key players and more.

In many ways, Congress — and the world — has been playing catch-up on cybersecurity. But the 2024 election brings a new sense of urgency to this issue for U.S. policymakers. Much of the concern centers around the new capabilities AI adds to the mix even as lawmakers acknowledge its benefits and potential to supercharge new workforce opportunities.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says there’s an “immediate” need to pass legislation on AI before Americans go to the polls next year.

Similarly, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) told us he worries AI could make Russia’s 2016 election interference “look like child’s play” with its manipulation capabilities.

Any meaningful action to regulate AI, and boosting cybersecurity requires a multi-pronged approach that involves lawmakers, the White House and Silicon Valley. Lawmakers have written multiple proposals that would tackle key areas of concern, such as regulating the Chinese government-owned TikTok, AI and foreign surveillance. We’ll dig deeper into these legislative efforts in our next installment landing Oct. 10.

Of course, passing anything in a divided government is difficult. And this particular divided government is proving to be one of the most challenging in recent memory.

“To not act would be something we want to avoid,” Schumer said. “We know it’s going to be hard.”

Follow this link to read the full first segment of The Future of Cybersecurity. To listen to the podcast, click here.

— Andrew Desiderio

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.