Use Caution in Cyberspace

With a 93% increase in cyberattacks between 2009 and 2010, the topic of cybersecurity continues to drive business planning agendas. And a recent report by the House Cybersecurity Task Force, released on October 5, unveiled recommendations to help in the development of legislation to deal with this crucial issue.

And while many such attacks are launched against government agencies, or even defense companies, according to Committee Chairman Representative Mac Thornberry, most of these attacks in reality are focused on individuals and businesses. Representative Thornberry further went on to say that he feels the problem cannot be solved by the government alone.

Created in June 2010 by current House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Cybersecurity Task Force was established in the wake of growing concerns over malicious cyber activity. The committee is comprised of appointed members from nine committees dealing within the jurisdiction of cyber security, in addition to three at-large members.

Under the leadership of Representative Thornberry, the group has been asked to look at the information presented and make recommendations in four crucial areas dealing with cyber security — updating legal authorities, the sharing of information between public and private partnerships, the improving of current infrastructure and defensive capabilities, and any potential changes to the domestic legal framework in regards to cybersecurity.

This is to be accomplished through the enactment of voluntary incentives encouraging the improvement of cyber security by private companies. Some such areas are the development of voluntary standards, the utilization of existing tax credits to promote an increase in security, and looking into the role that the insurance industry can play in improving cyber security. The Task Force also recommended several federal laws that deal with cyber security which required updating.

For more information about about the House Cybersecurity Task Force report, visit: