July 09, 2014

Cybersecurity bill through Senate Intelligence panel

July 10, 2014 – The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, voting 12-3 during a closed session, approved a cybersecurity bill that would set liability protections for individuals and companies that properly monitor their networks or share with each other appropriate cyber information.

The bill, the "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act," was authored by committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

The legislation would allow for information sharing on cybersecurity threats between the government and companies and within the private sector. The bill also would authorize individuals and companies to monitor their own computer networks and those of consenting customers for cyber threats.

"Cyber attacks present the greatest threat to our national and economic security today, and the magnitude of the threat is growing," Feinstein said in a statement. "Every week we hear about the theft of personal information from retailers and trade secrets from innovative businesses, as well as ongoing efforts by foreign nations to hack government networks. This bill is an important step toward curbing these dangerous cyber attacks."

This bill now awaits action by the full Senate. A similar bill, H.R. 624, the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act," which would clarify the National Security Act and promote the sharing of cyber intelligence between the public and private sectors, passed the House last year.

NAFCU is continuing to urge Congress to enact national data security standards for retailers as they address the broader issue of cybersecurity. NAFCU was the first financial services trade organization to push for national standards for retailers following the Target breach.