Cybersecurity Act of 2009

A new Cybersecurity bill is “shaking up” the information security world.

If it becomes law, HR 4061 will help "strengthen domestic cybersecurity talent and find new ways to leverage the expertise that exists in the private sector," says Rep. James Langevin, D-Rhode Island. (USAToday, 2009)

The House passed H.R. 4061, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, with an overwhelming number of votes 422 Yes to 5 No and 7 not voting at all. (NYTimes, 2009)

H.R. 4061, now being tossed around in the Senate, is known as SB773 - Cybersecurity Act of 2009. Both Security and Compliance professionals will endure many changes if this bill makes it to the President’s desk.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 is broken down into 23 sections and cover a wide range of topics.

Sec. 2 - Findings

In section 2, Congress lists 14 separate reasons as to why this bill is vital to our national security. Among the listed are:

(1) America’s failure to protect cyberspace is one of the most urgent national security problems facing the country.

(4) The Director of National Intelligence testified before the Congress on February 19, 2009, that ‘a growing array of state and non-state adversaries are increasingly targeting-for exploitation and potentially disruption or destruction-our information infrastructure, including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers in critical industries’ and these trends are likely to continue.

(8) Alan Paller, the Director of Research at the SANS Institute, testified before the Congress that ‘the fight against cybercrime resembles an arms race where each time the defenders build a new wall, the attackers create new tools to scale the wall. What is particularly important in this analogy is that, unlike conventional warfare where deployment takes time and money and is quite visible, in the cyber world, when the attackers find a new weapon, they can attack millions of computers, and successfully infect hundreds of thousands, in a few hours or days, and remain completely hidden.’.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 has the potential of turning Cybersecurity into the new Arms Race. An arms race that will take place between Cybersecurity minded professionals and those who wish to exploit the latest vulnerabilities in our nation's security systems.

By: Joseph Dustin

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