US Tech group calls for new cybersecurity legislation

A tech trade group calls for Congress to pass a bill to increase funding for fighting cybercrime.

Members of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) have called on the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that would address new types of cybercrimes and increase funding for law enforcement.

Members of the BSA asked Congress to pass the Cyber-Security Enhancement Act, which would expand the computer crimes statute in US federal law to include the stealing of access codes or electronic identifiers from a computer. The bill would also make it a crime to access a computer without authorization, even if the access does not cause damage, and it would define a new crime of conspiracy to commit cybercrime.

U.S. computers have "never been so vulnerable to attack," said Art Coviello, president of the RSA security division of EMC. In many cases, the vulnerabilities come from companies and individuals needing to share more and more information with others, "without understanding the risks," he said.

Companies and individual computer users need to rethink the way they address security, said Coviello, speaking at a BSA forum. Computer users need to reject popular beliefs that security can be bolted on to software after it's developed and that security can be accomplished with a perimeter defense, he said.

Cybersecurity needs to become more granular, and organizations must begin to prioritize what information they need to keep most safe, Coviello said. "Security needs to adapt to facts and circumstances," he said.

Coviello criticized Congress, saying it only focuses on cybersecurity for a short time each year, when U.S. agency cybersecurity grades come out. In the following weeks, some members of Congress will get up in arms about all the bad grades, then forget about the issue, he said.

But what U.S. agencies need is funding for cybersecurity efforts, he said.

"Give money, not lectures," Coviello said. "Then you can hold people accountable."

The Cyber-Security Enhancement Act, introduced in May, would also give an additional US$10 million a year to three U.S. government agencies that fight cybercrime.

Representative Steve Chabot, a Republican and co-sponsor of the bill, told the BSA that more laws are needed to fight organized cybercrime.

"The rise in the number of sophisticated cybercrimes ... shows that we need to do more to protect individuals and businesses," Chabot said. "These cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?