WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a quick stop in Wausau no Wednesday.
Pompeo was in town visiting with Congressman Tom Tiffany and area business leaders for a roundtable discussion. That roundtable took place at the Jefferson Street Inn.
When he meets the general public, what do they usually ask him about?
“You know I became famous for meeting Chairman Kim (Jong-un, of North Korea), Pompeo said with a laugh. “So, I often get asked about North Korea. So I had the privilege of bringing back three American hostages from there. So, a very special time for me to get to bring three Americans home safely who were in good health, so I get asked about that as well.”
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is asking for a $1-billion dollar budget to combat cybercrimes. Cybersecurity is a major concern right now. One that the former Secretary of State is familiar with. He says cybersecurity is an ever-increasing risk. We have to find a way to get our systems secure, and the ability to respond. For example, increase the cost or penalties against those who commit these crimes.
“These are happening everyday all across America on a smaller scale,” Pompeo said. “Small companies right here in Wisconsin, I’m sure are being impacted as well. We’ve got to figure out a way to impose cost on those people engaged in this. These are truly attacks on the United States.”
That raises the question, is it more prevalent now, or we just now paying more attention to it?
“So, the idea of behaving lawlessly and collecting ransom isn’t new,” said Pompeo. “What’s new is it’s cost-free, it’s simple. You can do it from around the world and reach into systems in different places. So we have to think about it. We have to develop a new model to protect America from these threats.”
Secretary Pompeo said while it’s the bigger company cyber attacks that are in the headlines, it’s the smaller companies and individuals we have to protect as well in the U.S.
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