Last year marked a turbulent time for the data security community, as it became a bit more common for companies to be hit by malicious viruses, insider theft and other cybersecurity ills. With breaches at companies as big as NBC and Global Payments, lawmakers and lobbyists have started to try to bring more attention to this area, as a report compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics for CNN Money said there were 1,968 lobbying reports that mentioned the world "cybersecurity" or a close variant last year alone. This is up from 990 reports in 2011.
Daniel Auble, a senior researcher for CRP, said this has been an issue that has seen a sharp increase over the past few years. One reason, according to the news source, was that this has proven to be a bipartisan concern. David Ransom, a partner at law firm McDermott Will and Emery, who also was a policy adviser for democratic Representative Steny Hoyer from Maryland, said the concern is more widespread than special interests and the stakes are currently quite high.
"Cybersecurity affects all of our major systems: our financial services, telecom systems, even our chemical plants and dams," says Ransom. "It's not just about personal information. Every [congressional] committee, from privacy from homeland security, has a vested interest."
Why so much concern?
CNN Money said the worry of cybersecurity issues is well founded, as professional hacker groups and foreign governments have been beefing up on their side of the issue, trying to create more complex tools and attacks that will be able to bypass security systems. Ransom said the ability for cybercriminals to find new tools for hacking makes it difficult for lawmakers, as it requires them to move much more swiftly in sensitive sectors such as healthcare and financial services.
One such assembly of highly influential people forming shows how those in power or who have ties to government are starting to invest more in security. A group that has filed for incorporation out in Arizona features Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the Chicago White Sox and Bulls, as well as the former U.S. attorney for Arizona, the ex-chief of staff to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and the former director of the secret service, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting. A fifth partner, expected to be an Arizona lobbyist and former GOP lawmaker, will be announced soon.
Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro.