There has been a lot of conversation around the new cybersecurity legislation and several bills have been circulating in Congress as lawmakers are faced with the growing reality of cyber attacks that should cripple critical infrastructure such as water, electricity or transportation systems.
To this end, the U.S. House of Representatives are scheduled to review cybersecurity legislation that would expand a Pentagon pilot program for sharing classified and sensitive threat information from just defense contractors and their Internet providers to a broader segment of the private sector and would encourage critical infrastructure companies to adopt cybersecurity best practices as well as give DHS the overall authority for protecting the nation’s critical assets.
According to this latest article in Reuters, U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (MI-08) is pushing the legislation saying that, “malicious code would be caught before it gets into networks,” and ultimately, that’s where the biggest success would be found.
By facilitating information sharing and collaborating between government, private sector, academia and international partners, the U.S. could ultimately extend protection of what is typically considered to be the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Yet, despite the benefits that could occur if the legislation is passed, there are many who are fighting against this approach because of allowing government access over the Internet with the ability to shut down sites and potentially cause civil rights issues. In fact, hacktivists have recently targeted several organizations that have openly supported the new legislation.
I suspect the debate between the groups will continue to simmer and boil over on occasion. During the years, there have been several pieces of legislation that have been proposed but ultimately, very few have made it this far. I expect there will be many developments along the way and it will be important for industry and agencies to keep an eye out for any further developments. Stay tuned…