Cyber security bill launches in Senate

Cyber security legislation that would update laws that govern how the federal government secures its information systems as well as help safeguard vital private networks that American society depends on hit the Senate last week.


ISSSourceCyber security legislation that would update laws that govern how the federal government secures its information systems as well as help safeguard vital private networks that American society depends on hit the Senate last week.

Five years in development, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is ready to go as threats against government and private IT systems intensify.

“Our nation’s vulnerabilities have already been demonstrated by the daily attempts by nation-states, cybercriminals and hackers to penetrate our systems,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a Senate speech. “The threat is not just to our national security, but also to our economic well-being.”

Collins, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee joined Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman, ID-CT; Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV; and Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, D-CA, as chief sponsors of the bill.

The legislation would codify some of the authority the Obama administration has granted the Department of Homeland Security over federal civilian agency IT security and create the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications within DHS, headed by a Senate-confirmed director, to coordinate federal efforts to battle cyber security threats facing the government and the nation’s critical information infrastructure, the mostly privately owned networks that control the flow of money, energy, food, transportation and other vital resources that the economy needs to function.

The bill would amend the Federal Information Security Management Act to require the government to develop a comprehensive acquisition risk management strategy, moving away from a culture of compliance to one of security by giving DHS the authority to streamline agency reporting requirements and reduce paperwork through continuous monitoring and risk assessment.

Penetration testing through red-team exercises would be an emphasis under the bill’s provisions as well as operational testing of systems to ensure agencies are aware of network vulnerabilities. The bill’s sponsors said the legislation would also ensure agencies make informed decisions when purchasing IT products and services by directing the Office of Management and Budget to develop security requirements and best practices for federal IT contracts.

One of the more contentious parts of the bill is one that would establish a mechanism in which the owners of the national information infrastructure would help develop cyber security standards that they would need to follow.

DHS would assess the risk and vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems that threaten the nation’s well-being to determine which networks must meet a set of risk-based security standards. Operators of these systems who believe their systems do not enjoy the proper designation could appeal DHS’s determination.

The bill calls for developing risk-based performance requirements, looking first to existing standards or industry practices. If a sector is sufficiently secure, there would be no need to develop new performance requirements. Under the bill, the owners of a covered system would determine how best to meet the performance requirements and then verify that it was meeting them. A third-party assessor could also verify compliance, or an owner could choose to self-certify compliance. Current industry regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission for the banking industry would continue their oversight.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me