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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, February 17, 2015

Obama calls for cybersecurity information sharing

In remarks at a White House cybersecurity summit at Stanford University, President Obama announced an executive order that calls for greater cooperation between the government and the private sector on cyberthreats and makes it easier for federal agencies to share relevant, classified information with companies. Obama said, “There’s only one way to defend America from these cyber threats, and that is through government and industry working together, sharing appropriate information as true partners.” The order calls for a common set of standards, including protections for privacy and civil liberties, so that the government can share threat information with the private sector.

In January, Obama introduced a broad package of cybersecurity information sharing and data breach reporting legislative proposals (see Banking and Finance Law DailyJan. 13, 2015). This executive order updates the Administration’s 2011 Cybersecurity Legislative Proposal.

Information sharing. The order calls for the formation of Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAO) drawn from public and private sectors that would share with the federal government information relate to cybersecurity risks and incidents.

Cybersecurity standards. Under the order, an ISAO Standards Organization would identify a common set of voluntary standards or guidelines for sharing information related to cybersecurity risks and incidents.

Infrastructure security. The Homeland Security Department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center would be authorized to enter into voluntary agreements with ISAOs in order to promote critical infrastructure security with respect to cybersecurity.

Privacy and civil liberties. Governmental agencies must ensure that appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties are incorporated into their activities under the order. These protections are to be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles and other privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks as they apply to each agency's activities.

Sen. Moran commends orders’ policy foundation. Responding to the President’s order, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security, said it helps to “prepare a policy foundation on which Congress can build a robust legislative strategy to solving the data security challenges American businesses face.”

ABA seeks safe harbor against frivolous lawsuits. Frank Keating, American Bankers Association president and CEO, said the Administration’s steps “will help the business community and government agencies share critical threat information more effectively.” However, he cautioned Congress must “send a bill to the president that gives businesses legal certainty that they have a safe harbor against frivolous lawsuits when voluntarily sharing and receiving threat indicators and countermeasures in real time and taking actions to mitigate cyber-attacks.”

FSR urges quick Congressional action. “We applaud the White House’s commitment to information sharing initiatives that will help our country ward off damaging cyberattacks,” said Tim Pawlenty, President & CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. “We hope this will push Congress to swiftly enact cyber threat information sharing legislation that provides strong liability protections so companies can share critical threats with each other and the government as they work to protect customers from the next major cyberattack.”

Companies: American Bankers Association; Financial Services Roundtable

MainStory: TopStory BankingOperations CrimesOffenses IdentityTheft Privacy

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