July 30, 2012

CNAS Experts Comment on Senate Cyber Security Bill

the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 being debated on the Senate floor today, CNAS
experts comment on the threat of cyber security and the impact of this critical
issue on U.S. national security. Read their commentary here.

CNAS experts Dr. Kristin Lord and Travis Sharp also edited the 2011 CNAS report
Cyber Future: Security and Prosperity in the Information Age
This two-volume report features chapters on cyber security strategy, policy,
and technology by some of the world's leading experts on international
relations, national security, and information technology in order to help U.S.
policymakers address the growing danger of cyber insecurity.

Bob Butler , CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow
and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy

"The proposed legislation addresses the need for greater protection in
light of rapidly advancing technology and threats in cyberspace, especially in
the areas of enhanced information sharing between the private and public sector
and greater shared critical infrastructure protection. First, the
legislation encourages voluntary sharing of threat information between
businesses and government. As seen in the recent Defense Industrial Base
cyber pilot conducted jointly by the Department of Defense and the
Department of Homeland Security last year, this type of information sharing can
offer greater value for both commercial concerns and the government,
which are exposed to the same threats. Trust and speed of action are
keys to success. Secondly, the new legislation proposes action for greater
protection of America's critical infrastructure - such as industrial
control, transportation and financial systems - without imposing new regulatory
requirements.  Foundational to this measure's success and optimizing
infrastructure protection is the alignment of private and public sector
incentives in implementation.  Both the information sharing and critical
infrastructure protection measures are key steps in the right direction to
strengthen American government and business against a growing cyber threat to
American livelihood."

Dr. Kristin Lord, CNAS Executive Vice President and
Director of Studies

"America's critical infrastructure and
intellectual property need greater protection from cyber threats, whether those
threats emanate from criminals, foreign governments or hackers with nefarious
motives. The cyber security legislation currently under debate on Capitol Hill
will not eliminate these threats, but it is a useful step in the right
direction. If signed into law, the legislation would make it easier for companies
and the U.S. government to share information about cyber threats on a voluntary
basis and for the government to exercise modest oversight over the cyber
security of critical infrastructure that undergirds America's entire
economy. Far from the heavy-handed regulation its critics claim, the
legislation is a sensible and bipartisan effort to address a problem of
national importance."

Travis Sharp, CNAS Fellow

"Passing a cyber security bill is an important test of Congress's ability
to play a constructive role in U.S. national security policy. With this bill,
Congress has the chance to help defend the United States against one of the
most serious threats facing the nation. Failing to pass a bill will perpetuate
the decades-long erosion of Congress's influence over U.S. national security
policy. Failing to pass a bill also may expose lawmakers to severe criticism
should a major cyber incident occur that could have been prevented if Congress
had acted."


The Center
for a New American Security
(CNAS) is an
independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong,
pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. CNAS leads
efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and


Kay King

Director of External

and Senior Advisor

Email: kking @cnas.org

Ph: (202) 457-9408

Sara Conneighton

Director of External Relations

Email: sconneighton@cnas.org

(202) 457-9429