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Cyber security Executive Order looms

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If there's one thing that everyone could agree on it's this: Cyber security has emerged as a huge issue in the U.S., and industry and government both need to do more. But everything is political these days, evidenced by controversial cyber security bill that was voted down last month. That thumbs-down vote was merely the latest in a line of defeats anytime cyber security legislation has been brought up.

Now, in a partial reawakening of the dead proposal from last month, the current administration plans to issue a cyber security executive order sometime in February, most likely in the second half of the month, after the State of Union address. The cyber order would essentially create "a voluntary program in which companies operating crucial infrastructure would agree to meet a set of cybersecurity standards developed, in part, by the government," reports TheHill.com.

In some ways, it's been a shame that Congress hasn't been able to pass a law in the face of extreme, bi-partisan need. But apart from the executive order, another opportunity is coming. Another bi-partisan bill is expected to be introduced this month. Some sort of Congressional action would be in keeping with global trends.

Bloomberg notes that, "According to the draft European Commission directive, banks, stock exchanges, hospitals and transportation companies would have to adopt more stringent network security standards in coordination with an appointed regulator in each member country. The directive would require critical infrastructure companies to tell regulators about significant cyber incidents and could require them to make a public disclosure. That's stricter than rules in the U.S., which don't make companies disclose serious breaches unless they involve personal identifying information like Social Security numbers or credit card data. Even those requirements vary by state."

The upshot here is that there will likely be a lot of regulations and codes for U.S. companies, especially big companies, to follow. Hopefully, they will be safer for the effort. -Jim