The bill, which was introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins and Tom Carper, looks to provide DHS with the power to dictate cybersecurity requirements to private sector companies, which is troubling, McAfee officials said.
“The government needs to be very careful about imposing too much of a top-down standards process,” said McAfee vice president of government relations Tom Gann. “We need to bring products to market very quickly. They need to make sure we can get latest technology.”
IT standards developed by the private sector are more effective as they apply internationally, according to Gann. The standards can also be adapted and changed much more quickly by the private sector than by the government, which could cause the standards to become outdated quickly, he said.
“We tend to do best when those standards are first and foremost developed in private sector because we can move faster,” Gann said. “[Standards] need to continually evolve. Government needs to be sensitive to the rapid pace of innovation in the technology sector.”
The new cyber bill will also overhaul FISMA, which is viewed as a much needed change. The bill would provide a more comprehensive approach to protecting critical infrastructure and government networks, said McAfee director of federal business development Tom Conway.
It “clearly further empowers the White House to drive cybersecurity initiatives across the government,” Conway said.