NTCA Testimony on Cybersecurity

For Immediate Release
Contact: Hillary Crowder, 703-351-2086, hcrowder@ntca.org 

Arlington, Va. (September 3, 2015)—Mark Shlanta, chief executive officer of SDN Communications (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and member of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, testified today before the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee during a field hearing, “Confronting the Challenge of Cybersecurity,” at Dakota State University.

The following is excerpted from Shlanta’s written testimony:

“It feels like it has become nearly impossible to turn on the news without learning of yet another company or federal department that has been compromised. We hear about the high-profile attacks against companies like Sony, Target, Anthem, Home Depot, and JPMorgan Chase, and many small and regional businesses assume this is a problem targeting only large companies. Unfortunately, we here in South Dakota are not immune to this threat.

“SDN has reviewed and continues to study the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Framework and the sector-specific guidance from the Federal Communications Commission’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). The NIST framework helps shift our national focus from a ‘check-the-box’ mentality towards a risk-based approach tailored to addressing and mitigating unique organizational risk. This is a preferred, more effective approach than strict and prescriptive regulation that would struggle to keep up with emerging and constantly evolving threats. The CSRIC guidance provides a useful tool to help communications providers evaluate and utilize the framework, and it includes tailored recommendations for small operators.”

The full text of the submitted written testimony is available online.


NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA's members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at www.ntca.org.