As in the private sector, cybersecurity has become a major point for U.S. government agencies. Especially as agencies transition to new technologies, lawmakers are demanding that organizations increase their focus on protecting the nation’s IT infrastructure.
In response to technological changes in government – as well as the ever-expanding cyber threat landscape – the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee recently revealed that cybersecurity will be one of its primary focuses this fall.
“A top priority for the subcommittee will be improving our nation’s cybersecurity to protect our infrastructure – including the electric grid, defense capabilities, sensitive government network systems and other key systems – from growing threats and vulnerabilities,” the committee said in a statement on its website.
The focus on cybersecurity is a pressing need, as the nation’s IT infrastructure faces a constantly growing number of threats. At Reuters’ recent Aerospace and Defense Summit, Web Bush, chief executive at U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman, asserted that cyber threats to the United States are “unceasing” and “sophisticated.”
“Every defense company is constantly under attack. If anybody tells you they’re not, it just means they don’t know,” Bush said, according to Reuters.
In addition to cybersecurity, the House committee also revealed that data privacy will be another area of concern during this fall’s session. The committee noted that many consumers are concerned with the way their personal data is being collected and stored online. To mitigate some of these concerns, Congress plans to address the role of data collection in online environments, particularly as it pertains to commerce, manufacturing and trade.
Ecommerce has been identified as one area that is likely to boost the struggling economy. According to recent figures from market research firm comScore, U.S. ecommerce sales reached $37.5 billion in the second quarter of 2011. However, this spending could be even higher if more consumers were confident that their personal and financial data was safe online.
This focus on online data protection isn’t a recent development in Congress, but it is one that has picked up steam in recent years. There are currently a number of bill proposals circulating the Senate and the House that address data privacy head on. While the details of each bill differ, one recurring theme seems to be the introduction of a national data breach notification policy. This development has been supported by the Obama administration, and it may serve to quell consumer concerns about submitting information online.
Security News by SimplySecurity.com from Trend Micro