By: Jeremy Morris, Associate Editor, USDR
CompTIA, the non-profit association for the information technology (IT) industry, issued the following statement regarding S. 1353, The Cybersecurity Act of 2013, after its voice vote today. The statement can be attributed to Elizabeth Hyman, vice president, public advocacy.
“We applaud the Senate Commerce Committee for clearing the Cybersecurity Act of 2013. The bill covers several important policy elements of the cybersecurity ecosystem, specifically, the focus on public-private collaborations aimed at developing best practices, processes for protecting critical infrastructures from cyber threats and attacks and preparing our cyber warriors for their mission through education, training and certification.
“CompTIA believes S.1353 is an important step forward as it will create the solid framework that is necessary to address today’s evolving and sophisticated cyber threats. The bill directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an authority in this area to ‘protect individual privacy and civil liberties’ as it develops best practices and processes for the critical infrastructure cybersecurity ecosystem. There is also a commitment in the bill to advance education and awareness of steps stakeholders in the cybersecurity ecosystem can take to protect against cyber threats and attacks.
“Many of CompTIA’s members are small and medium-sized technology firms who have few resources available to monitor and combat cyber threats, making them easy targets for expert criminals. They need the flexibility to innovate in response to the ever changing and growing cybersecurity threats. It is crucial that public policies reflect this need.
“We also applaud the commitment in the bill to advance education and awareness. Simple steps such as installing virus protection software and protecting passwords go a long way toward fostering a safe and protected cybersecurity ecosystem. This legislation goes far to help ensure a stronger public-private collaboration process that includes standards and best practices that will reduce cyber risks to our critical infrastructure.
“We appreciate the continued commitment to improving our cybersecurity from the Committee and look forward to continuing to work with staff, particularly on issues related to workforce training and certification as the bill continues to move through the legislative process.”