Cybersecurity recs from House GOP, CCIA

BY CCIA Staff
October 14, 2011

Cybersecurity has been the national security topic du jour for months.  Earlier this year then CIA Director Leon Pannetta warned of the potential of a “cyber Pearl Harbor”, while in May the Obama Administration released its cybersecurity legislative proposal.  And last week the House GOP’s Cybersecurity Task Force (CTF) released its recommendations.

The Obama Administration and the CTF largely agree on the major issues where federal government action is needed to deal with looming cyber threats. For instance, both agree on the need for reforms of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Federal Information Security Management Act, both propose that Congress address data breach notification so that requirements for organizations that have been attacked are the same nationwide, and both propose the creation of voluntary information sharing about cyber threats between the public and private sectors.

The areas of disagreement between the two proposals are largely based on (surprise, surprise) the role of the federal government in overseeing and regulating the cybersecurity practices in the private sector.  For example, while both the Administration and the CFT see the federal government (most likely DHS) playing a coordinating role in assisting the development of cybersecurity standards and practices by owners of private critical infrastructure, the Administration’s proposal would allow DHS to step in and override private sector decisions about appropriate risk frameworks where it deems it necessary.

That said, the areas of agreement between the Administration and the CFT are broad enough that we are hopeful that Congress will move quickly on cybersecurity legislation – whether comprehensive or piecemeal.  The CFT has said that its recommendations can be acted upon during this Congress – we encourage the Administration and the Congress to work together to address cybersecurity issues within that time frame.

While the devil is in the details, CCIA favors legislation that will address cybersecurity threats by:

  •  Allowing greater cooperation and information sharing amongst and between the private and public sectors regarding cyber threats; however, private information must be protected, both from inappropriate government and private sector use.
  • Harmonizing existing data breach laws with federal legislation so that sensitive personal data is treated identically regardless of where it is stored – this will allow businesses to standardize their notification practices nationwide and give customers greater peace of mind.
  • Promoting cybersecurity standard setting by cooperation between the public and private sectors and academia.  Standards must be technology neutral so they can evolve over time to deal with new threats and incorporate new technologies.
  • Promoting international cooperation in creating cybersecurity standards
  • Updating existing laws, such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, to appropriately address today’s cyber threats
  •  Incentivizing cybersecurity training and education to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

Related Articles

New EU Cybersecurity Rules Should Promote Security Mitigation, Avoid Compliance Red Tape

Dec 16, 2020

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission published today a legislative proposal to update the 2016 Network and Information Security Directive.  The proposal aims to reduce regulatory inconsistencies across the EU’s internal market and it encourages security information sharing to help companies effectively address future cybersecurity risks. But the proposal also suggests that cloud computing providers,…

CCIA Offers European Commission Comments On Data Transfer Method

Dec 11, 2020

CCIA submitted comments to the European Commission on the draft new Standard Contractual Clauses (‘SCC’) to transfer data outside of the EU. CCIA believes this transfer tool will pave the way towards greater legal certainty for most data transfers outside the European Union. However, the tool could still be made more practical for companies to…

The European Commission Proposes New EU Data Sharing Rules, Expands Restrictions for International Transfers of Certain Data

Nov 25, 2020

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission published a new proposal today, the Data Governance Act, to facilitate data sharing among public and private organisations. The legislative proposal also sets out conditions for people to share their data for the public good in the name of “data altruism”. Today’s proposal seeks to provide legal certainty for…