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In a recent meeting of the Cloud Computing Advisory Caucus, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) warned attendees that Congress’s hand will be forced on cyber security legislation in the event of a catastrophic breach.

The cyber hack on the Office of Personnel Management exposed millions of current and former government employee’s personal information and revealed significant weaknesses in federal cyber security. Another substantial cyber-attack could trigger a domino effect pushing Congress to pass stringent cyber regulations to protect privacy. Connolly believes in order “to avoid that, we’ve got to try to encourage [the] private sector to set very high standards that they voluntarily agree to try to meet.”

During the conversation at the Cloud Computing Caucus, Connolly also expressed his skepticism about the cyber security accords reached between the US and China during President Xi, Jinping’s visit to the states. Although the danger of international cyber security attacks poses a significant threat, there is a significant opportunity for domestic partnerships between the public and private sector to establish data sharing initiatives to bolster cyber security.

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