Assessing the New Senate Cybersecurity Proposal

Nilmini Gunaratne Rubin photo

ITI and our member companies take cybersecurity very seriously.  We have to; protecting people when they are online underpins a major portion of our innovation economy.  Consider the everyday applications that we all rely on -- online banking, social networking, picture sharing, health care systems access, music and movies, real-time weather and traffic reports.  Cybersecurity helps to protect the integrity and access to those systems and applications.  Without a strong defense, individuals and the sites we rely on are jeopardized.
 
On Thursday night, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a revamped legislative proposal that they believe would enhance America’s cyber protections.  We appreciate the hard work that they’ve put into this effort.  In fact, we have shared many hours with these Senators and their staffs as they have pressed to understand fully the challenges we face and the best ways to address them.
 
Given the importance of this legislation, we are working with our member companies and giving the new proposal a good look.  We aren’t going to rush to pass judgment on it.  We’re going to assess the legislation as we have all of the cybersecurity proposals – through the prism of building a stronger, faster, and more flexible cybersecurity system to better protect individual Americans, businesses, and the country.  We believe that any new approach should be forward-thinking so it can take on the new generation of cyber threats and protect the basic structure and benefits of the Internet.
 
As we noted earlier this week, efforts to improve U.S. cybersecurity must:

  • Leverage public-private partnerships and build upon existing initiatives and resource commitments;
  • Be able to adapt rapidly to emerging threats, technologies, and business;
  • Properly reflect the borderless, interconnected, and global nature of today’s cyber environment;
  • Be based on risk management;
  • Focus on awareness; and
  • More directly focus on bad actors and their threats.

 
That’s the screen under which we are putting the new Lieberman-Collins legislation, and how we have looked at all of the bills.
 
As the Senate moves forward with consideration of this and other proposals and amendments, ITI will continue to keep the focus on how best to protect the American people.  Government and industry must partner together to improve our cybersecurity defenses, while avoiding an inflexible and overbearing approach that could decrease, not increase, security.

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