In the middle of our recent ice storm, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Cybersecurity Council met virtually to discuss federal cybersecurity efforts. Council Chair Larry Hurtado, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Qnext Corp USA, hosted the Council via zoom and welcomed members of Congressman Tony Gonzales’ Washington, DC team. Reed Kearins, Congressman Gonzales’ cybersecurity lead in DC, spoke to the Council about the cybersecurity challenges the Congressman views as the most pressing across the nation. Mr. Kearins also discussed the legislative efforts ahead in cybersecurity for the 118th Congress. This included draft legislation about how the FBI and DHS respond to cyber incidents and a reintroduction of Congressman Gonzales’ Cybersecurity reserve bill that stalled in the Senate last year. Mr. Kearins additionally discussed efforts on Capitol hill to engage with executive branch agencies in bettering cybersecurity response, prevention, and public-private coordination and collaboration.
Following the DC presentation and discussion, Advocacy and Legislative Education Focus Team Lead Cindy McClister shared preparations for VIVA San Antonio, the Chamber’s advocacy day in Austin. She also talked about current efforts in Austin to accomplish this year’s state legislative priorities. The Chamber staff also introduced draft federal priorities to the Council and, after discussion, Chair Larry Hurtado accepted the Council’s recommendation to move the draft federal cybersecurity priorities to the Public Policy Council later in February. The federal priorities guide the Chamber’s engagement with the federal government for the year and provide specific areas to address during the annual fly-in to Washington in late March.