Cyber Security in 2013

February 12, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013 by Cara Richards
Since the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was blocked from coming to a vote last year, Senator Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, sent a questionnaire to all of the CEO’s of the Fortune 500, looking to gauge opinions and responses toward cyber security law. A committee reviewed the responses and released some of its findings in a memo in anticipation of the introduction of the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013.
The 2012 bill was met with strong opposition, particularly from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Yet, 80 percent of the top 100 companies answered the questionnaire, with a total of 300 responses in all, revealing that companies in the private sector were not deeply opposed to this cyber legislation. The companies that responded reported already taking steps to protect their companies’ infrastructures from cyber attacks. The summary memo stated that “many companies supported a voluntary program to protect critical infrastructure, so long as it would not become mandatory” and  many of the companies that responded “supported more robust, two-way cyber threat information sharing” and “greater access to security clearances to ease the process.” Based on the questionnaire, companies seemed supportive of new cyber security legislation. However, corporations still expressed some concerns about the legislation, fearing “inflexible” and “ad-hoc” approaches. Overall though, the committee found that the concerns “were generally related to the manner in which [the legislation] would be implemented, not with the fundamental notion of whether to create it.”
In support of the new legislation, Rockefellar commented, “The private sector and the government must work together to secure the networks that are vital to American businesses and communities. It is a priority this year to act on comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.” Senator Feinstein also commented on the necessity of this legislation, “The threat of a cyber attack is real, and it is growing. Congress must act soon to improve the government’s ability to share and receive information on cyber attacks and threats with the private sector. Our national and economic security depend on robust information sharing. . .” The Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013 is cosponsored by Senators John D. Rockefellar, Tom Carper, Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin, Barbara Mikulski, Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons.