Cyber Security Legislation: What Does it Mean for Citizens?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Robert Siciliano

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The White House issued a statement in regards to our critical infrastructure – such as the electricity grid, financial sector, and transportation networks that sustain our way of life – have suffered repeated cyber intrusions, and cyber crime has increased dramatically over the last decade.

The President has thus made cyber security an Administration priority.

From The Desk of President Obama: “We count on computer networks to deliver our oil and gas, our power and our water. We rely on them for public transportation and air traffic control… But just as we failed in the past to invest in our physical infrastructure – our roads, our bridges and rails – we’ve failed to invest in the security of our digital infrastructure… This status quo is no longer acceptable – not when there’s so much at stake. We can and we must do better.”

Members of both parties in Congress have also recognized this need and introduced approximately 50 cyber-related bills in the last session of Congress. The proposed legislation is focused on improving cyber security for the American people, our Nation’s critical infrastructure, and the Federal Government’s own networks and computers.

#1 National Data Breach Reporting. State laws have helped consumers protect themselves against identity theft while also incentivizing businesses to have better cyber security, thus helping to stem the tide of identity theft.

#2 Penalties for Computer Criminals. The laws regarding penalties for computer crime are not fully synchronized with those for other types of crime.

#3 Protecting our Nation’s Critical Infrastructure. Our safety and way of life depend upon our critical infrastructure as well as the strength of our economy. The Administration is already working to protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

#4 Protecting Federal Government Computers and Networks.  Over the past five years, the Federal Government has greatly increased the effort and resources we devote to securing our computer systems.

#5 New Framework to Protect Individuals’ Privacy and Civil Liberties. The Administration’s proposal ensures the protection of individuals’ privacy and civil liberties through a framework designed expressly to address the challenges of cyber security.

Our Nation is at risk. The cyber security vulnerabilities in our government and critical infrastructure are a risk to national security, public safety, and economic prosperity.

Think before you click. Know who’s on the other side of that instant message. What you say or do in cyberspace stays in cyberspace — for many to see, steal and use against you or your government.

The Internet is incredibly powerful tool that must be used intelligently and cautiously. Do your part to protect your little network and we will all be that much safer:

  • Use antivirus software, spyware removal, parental controls and firewalls.
  • Back up your data locally and in the cloud.
  • Understand the risks associated with the wireless web especially when using unsecured public networks.
  • Protect your identity too. The most valuable resource you have is your good name. Allowing anyone to pose as you and let them damage your reputation is almost facilitating a crime. Nobody will protect you, except you.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask GemaltoDisclosures

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Allan Pratt, MBA Good post, Robert - especially true, everyone has to be his or her own identity and reputation protector.
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