The Problems Experts And Privacy Advocates Have With The Senate's Cybersecurity Bill

October 29, 2015

Abigail Tracy

In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses. - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf
In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses. - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf

It took more than four years for the Senate to pass a cybersecurity bill. As the legislation grew stale amid compromise and contention on the Senate floor over the years, hackers continued to refine their criminal craft and develop more sophisticated methods of attack. As a result, the bill approved on Tuesday by a vote of 74 to 21 will likely be ineffective in the prevention of cybercrime but it has also been criticized for the litany of privacy issues it could potentially introduce. At its best, the bill—the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)—has been hailed as a step in the right direction in the fight against cybercriminals.

What the Bill Entails

At a base level, CISA essentially encourages the flow of information between actors about cybersecurity threats. Under the bill, government agencies, corporations and other organizations would be required to share any information with one another that could potentially help identify cybercriminals and potential threats so these groups would be more equipped to protect and defend themselves.

The House passed two bills similar to CISA back in April, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act. Both of the bills also focus on information sharing in the fight against cybercrime. The Senate bill will have to be reconciled with these two bills and ultimately a combination of the three pieces of legislature will make its way to the White House. Then President Obama will decide whether or not to sign the bill into law.

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SBA Unveils Small Business Cybersecurity Tools
Credit: Mark Van Scyoc

In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses.

In the wake of high-profile data breaches, many businesses are eager to implement a more robust cybersecurity strategy. The SBA's cybersecurity page, launched earlier this month during the "Cybersecurity at Work" week, offers advice and tools for small business owners who are seeking to better protect both their own data and their customers' data. In 2013, 44 percent of the 800 small business owners surveyed reported having experienced a cyberattack that resulted in an average cost of nearly $9,000, according to a report by the National Small Business Association.

"Cybersecurity is one of our nation's most pressing national security priorities, and America's 28 million small businesses, which create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., are especially at risk," SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a statement announcing the Web page. "Small employers are quickly becoming a larger target for criminals looking to access sensitive data because small businesses typically have limited resources for information systems security. In an effort to combat cyberattacks against small businesses, the SBA's online tools will help employers identify information security vulnerabilities that put their companies at risk."

- See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf
In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses. - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf