Cybersecurity

Senate bill would offer tax incentives for sharing cyber-threat info

Kirsten Gillibrand

New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said a recent report from the 9/11 Commission on  U.S. vulnerabilities in cyberspace sparked her to introducing information-sharing legislation.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill July 31 that would provide tax credits for companies that join organizations dedicated to sharing cyber-threat information.

The bill would encourage "businesses of all sizes" to join Information Sharing and Analysis Centers, Gillibrand's office said. ISACs are common mechanisms for information sharing and are often broken down by sector. Energy firms have the Electricity Sector ISAC, for example, while banks have the Financial Services ISAC.

Gillibrand's office cited a recent report from the 9/11 Commission on America’s vulnerabilities in cyberspace as impetus for introducing the measure.

"Businesses should take the same precautions to defend their data as they do with their buildings and inventory," Gillibrand said in a statement. "Just as they purchase insurance and security systems, they should enter into agreements with information sharing organizations to help defend against cyber-threats."

The bill has drawn early support from the National Health ISAC, NSS Labs and IBM, among other stakeholders. IBM Vice President of Governmental Programs Christopher Padilla said in a supportive letter to Gillibrand that the legislation would "help lower the costs of participating in sector-specific" ISACs.

Gillibrand's bill joins a string of cyber-related bills before Congress, including a broader measure to encourage information sharing, co-authored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), which was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 8.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is a staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.

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