Required Reading: Melissa Hathaway’s Legislative Analysis

In the past several years, cybersecurity has come to the forefront of national attention, with high-profile incidents such as the attacks on Google that were announced in January. A number of pieces of legislation are currently before Congress that relate to cybersecurity. For government contracting executives, cyber is an important area to understand, as cyber is a growing market for the contracting industry.

Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global Strategies and former U.S. cybersecurity official, recently published an analysis of the pending legislation on the Harvard University Belfer Center website. There is currently more than 35 bills sitting before Congress, according to Hathaway.

Several congressional committees have established specific sub-committees or task forces to address cybersecurity. Specifically, Hathaway lists 9 pieces of legislation that merit extra attention.

These include: Data Accountability and Trust Act, International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation Act, Data Breach Legislation, FISMA II, Intelligence Authorization Act, Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, Energy and Water Appropriations Act 2010, Cybersecurity Act of 2009 and The Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act.

Hathaway provides a synopsis of each bill and analysis along several criteria including compliance and accountability, organizational responsibility, education, awareness and R&D, international cooperation and cyber crime, procurement and supply chain integrity, critical infrastructure and data accountability and identity theft.

She also put forth a number of recommendations including:

Need Congressional leadership to set the legislative priorities for cybersecurity

Need to clearly articulate the direction for cybersecurity private-public engagement and responsibilities

Need broad-based awareness and education campaign for the U.S. population and other like-minded nations

You can read the analysis here

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