DHS takes the lead in Senate cybersecurity bill


Molly Bernhart Walker
fiercegovernmentit.com
February 22, 2012

Newly-introduced cybersecurity legislation would task the Homeland Security Department’s national cybersecurity and communications integration center with facilitating information sharing among public- and private-sector entities, rather than creating an industry-controlled, non-profit National Information Sharing Organization, as suggested by one proposal in the House.

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.) introduced the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105) on Feb. 14. The proposed bill would also have DHS create a program for cybersecurity research and development, and stand up a process for designating high-priority critical infrastructure, assessing its risks and building a regulatory framework for setting and enforcing cybersecurity standards.

The bill says DHS should work with various industry groups and government agencies to set cybersecurity standards for covered critical infrastructure. Self-reporting would be the primary oversight mechanism and DHS would determine penalties for not meeting security standards.

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