Congress Drafting Cybersecurity Legislation

Network security

The House Subcommittee devoted to cybersecurity and infrastructure protection is holding hearings this week regarding the founding of a National Information Sharing Organization to be run as a not-for-profit agency that will help to distribute information about online threats.  Such information would be shared not only with the various levels of government but also with business entities across the nation. 

Currently, critical cyber security information is not consistently shared; Cheri McGuire of the Business Software Alliance has pointed out that the lack of a mandate for so doing is part of the reason for governmental reluctance to distribute real-time data about the online threats facing American businesses.  Should this legislation pass and be signed into law, the new regulations drafted to implement it would help supply invaluable assistance to managed services providers and the small and medium-sized businesses they support.

Role of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security would play a critical leadership role under the legislation.  DHS would be responsible for the development of risk assessments as well as for establishing outreach programs designed to spread awareness regarding cybersecurity issues.  Managed services personnel working to put IT solutions into place to protect the data assets of businesses could benefit greatly from a more streamlined approach to sharing threat information as it emerges.

The bill would also encourage the government to support and implement research efforts leading to new means of securing data online, a key consideration in this age of cloud computing.


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