Cybersecurity laws coming, Putnam says

Cybersecurity regulation that will affect the private sector is on the way this year, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) said this morning at a Capitol Hill forum sponsored by the Business Software Alliance and the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Washington.

"We will be moving some legislation" in the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census, which he chairs, Putnam said. "It won't be on the order of Sarbanes-Oxley [a 2002 act regulating accountability of public companies] but will be an effort to increase attention to security before major problems occur."

Business Software Alliance president Robert W. Holleyman argued against regulation. "The government must avoid mandates and allow the private sector to develop and deploy security technology in partnership with it," Holleyman said.

But companies "have not moved fast enough. It is incumbent on the private sector to get its house in order to demonstrate that regulation is not needed," Putnam said.

He also criticized Congress and the administration for what he called "a lack of attention and understanding of the serious nature of the cyberthreat."

It has "taken a back seat to the physical threat, which has led to a dangerously lopsided approach to homeland security," Putnam said.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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