Cyberspace touches nearly every part of our daily lives. All data and signals from broadband networks that power our personal computers and mobile devices the local networks in our hospitals and businesses, the wide area networks that allow information sharing and business transactions across the globe, and the massive grids that enable critical government services and power private utilities and exchanges, exist in cyberspace. In that light, protection of this all-encompassing network and the information transferred across it is essential to a properly functioning world and more specifically, it is an integral part of properly functioning financial markets.
New policies on cybersecurity have been considered by Congress including a proposal defining the Federal government’s responsibility for regulating cybersecurity. Proposals will continue to be developed and released to address the complex and ever-evolving mandate of our cybersecurity. In 2012 the House as able to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, H.R.3523. SIFMA believes the enactment of this bill will contribute significantly to an increase in the sharing of actionable, classified cyber threat intelligence information with the private sector and increase the situation awareness and the readiness of our member firms to repel and mitigate critical threats to their networks and systems. Recent proposals sponsored in the U.S. Senate include The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S.2105) and The Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information and Technology Act of 2012, or SECURE IT Act (S.2151). As of the end of 2012 all activity is centered a possible executive order from the White House that is expected to focus on portions of the The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 since it was not able to be passed prior to year end.
Officials throughout the Administration, including the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense as well as Congress are making this area a priority. President Obama has expressed that the “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation” and that “America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity.”