Cybersecurity Top of Mind on the Hill – BITS President Testifies

On May 25, BITS President Leigh Williams testified before the House Judiciary Committee Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet Subcommittee on “Cybersecurity: Innovative Solutions to Challenging Problems.”  The hearing focused on provisions of the Obama Administration’s Cybersecurity Legislative Proposal released May 12, sparking a debate over the definition of critical infrastructure and the role and authority of the Department of Homeland Security in cybersecurity issues. The Financial Services Roundtable supports the Administration’s proposal and the expansion of DHS authorities as long as they are exercised in concert with Treasury and financial regulators.

“Strong legislation can catalyze systemic progress in ways that are well beyond the capacity of individual companies, coalitions or even entire industries,” said Williams in written remarks.

Williams pointed to the financial sector’s proactive approach – institutions’ security and risk management programs, regulatory framework, best practices and industry-level collaborations – and asked that new legislation leverage existing cybersecurity protections. While financial services has demonstrated a serious, collective commitment to cybersecurity, Williams said comprehensive legislation could raise the quality and consistency of security across sectors, benefitting the overall cyber ecosystem.

Meanwhile, there were three other cybersecurity hearings on the Hill this week: Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: “Protecting Cyberspace: Assessing the White House Proposal,” the Research and Science Education, and Technology and Innovation Subcommittees of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: “Protecting Information in the Digital Age: Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Efforts,” and the National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: “Cybersecurity: Assessing the Immediate Threat to the United States.”

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