Congress Gets into the Cybersecurity Game

Yesterday the US House of Representatives passed the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009 which provides for major funding for security on the Internet.  This is in reaction to the The Cyberspace Policy Review done by President Obama last year which showed major vulnerabilities in the US computing infrastructure.  
This is a great step toward acknowledging major threats toward people and property and finally putting some money toward resolving them.  The bill would give the National Science Foundation money for research and require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to work with other standards groups to develop internationally accepted standards and for leading public awareness campaigns.  It also talks about federal agencies conducting detailed assessments of their risks and developing plans for addressing them.
I think the risk assessment is key and would be valuable for all organizations to do.  It all begins with an awareness of the problem by everyone.  Whether you are an individual or business, it’s important to understand the problems and take basic precautions on the Internet.  Many hacks and other problems are caused by human negligence.  Some are as simple as creating a stronger password, not “123456”.  Others are more complex and require IT organizations to keep up with patches and security upgrades.  And still others require better software development techniques by companies.  Things are improving, but we still have a way to go.
It’s good to see the seriousness with which the US government is taking this.  I look forward to more security built into systems and better ways for us to go about our daily lives without having to worry about security.
Photo credit david.nikonvscanon

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