Senate bill may require 'critical' networks to adopt cyber standards
The cybersecurity practices of operators of critical infrastructure systems would be evaluated by DHS
IDG News Service - A bill in the U.S. Senate would require operators of so-called critical infrastructure networks to adopt cybersecurity practices if evaluations by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security find their security lacking.
The new bill, introduced Tuesday by four senators, would cover operators of systems that, if compromised, would cause mass death, evacuation or major damage to the U.S. economy, said the sponsors, including Senator Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
If DHS found security holes at a critical infrastructure operator, the bill would require the operator to work with DHS to develop new security performance requirements.
"This bill would begin to arm us for battle in a war against the cyber mayhem that is being waged against us by our nation's enemies, organized criminal gangs, and terrorists who would use the Internet against us as surely as they turned airliners into guided missiles," Lieberman said in a statement. "The nation responded after 9/11 to improve its security. Now we must respond to this challenge so that a cyber 9/11 attack on America never happens."
The bill addresses the urgent issue of cybersecurity, added Senator John "Jay" Rockefeller, a cosponsor and West Virginia Democrat. "The new frontier in the war against terrorists is being fought online and this bill will level the playing field," he said in a statement. "We can and will stop cyber criminals from getting the upper hand."
Bill cosponsors Lieberman and Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, also sponsored a bill in 2010 that would have allowed the U.S. president to order the shutdown of parts of the Internet in a cybersecurity crisis. This controversial "Internet kill switch" language isn't in the new bill.
Sponsors of the bill also distanced their legislation from controversial copyright enforcement bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which have stalled in Congress after widespread opposition from Internet users. The new bill "in no way resembles" SOPA or PIPA, but focuses on the security of systems that control essential services such as power, water and transportation, the sponsors said in a press release.
The new bill, called the Cybersecurity Act, would allow owners of systems designated by DHS as critical infrastructure to appeal the designation. The bill allows owners of critical infrastructure systems to decide how best to meet the performance standards developed with the agency.
The bill would also consolidate the cybersecurity programs at DHS, and it attempts to reform the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the cybersecurity rules in place for federal agencies.
- Data on the Move = Business on the Move; How Strategic Secure Managed File Transfer Adds Value and Drives Business This whitepaper describes the formal and informal file-sharing methods business employees use to perform their daily functions and explains that, from sending small...
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- Supercharge Your Web and Mobile App Development with High-Productivity Hybrid Cloud Webinar: Hear from industry experts about the amazing power at the intersection of next-generation web and mobile application development and cloud platforms.
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!