August 24, 2014

NAFCU urges Senate action on cybersecurity

Aug. 5, 2014 – NAFCU continued its ongoing push for cyber and data security legislation in a joint trades letter urging Senate leaders to act on S. 2588, which would encourage information-sharing on cyber-threats among the business community and the government while still ensuring privacy.

Titled the "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act," S. 2588 is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and was reported out favorably last month by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Cyber threats are more sophisticated and dangerous than ever and require a concerted public/private partnership to identify, mitigate, and resolve, if possible," the signers wrote in their recent letter. "As it stands today, our laws do not do enough to foster information sharing and establish clear lines of communication with the various government agencies responsible for cybersecurity. Simply put, there is a limit to our ability to protect our customers and there is a clear need for Congress to act."

The letter, which was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was signed by 12 organizations, including NAFCU, the American Bankers Association, CUNA, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Independent Community Bankers of America.

In related news, a new form of malware called Backoff was recently highlighted in a report from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service. According to ConsumerReports, the malware is too new for any anti-virus programs to be able to handle, and as many as 600 businesses have been affected so far.

NAFCU was the first financial trade association to call for a national data security standard for retailers in the wake of the massive Target data breach last year, and continues to push for action in Congress to help financial institutions combat cybersecurity threats.