Blog archive

How to legislate cybersecurity right

Jay Rockefeller

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, one of the Senate's advocates of cybersecurity legislation.

Responding to an article on the Senate's renewed cybersecurity effort, reader Paul Misner wrote: [The] Senate walks a fine line here. If the bill is too weak, it will have no value as all. Too rigid, and it will result in agencies and companies being forced to implement out of date processes, hardware, software, and procedures that will increasingly become less valuable. What is needed is a strong, but balanced framework which is easy to understand, and dynamic to meet a dynamic set of adversaries. I think this type of legislation should be enforced with a carrot, rather than a stick, but providing protection from penalties for entities that follow it's guidelines, rather than punishment for those agencies who fail to make an effort to enforce.

Amber Corrin responds: That seems to be the consensus. A number of sources have warned against FISMA-like, "check-the-box" regulations that do not allow for the agility necessary to keep up with constantly evolving cyber threats. This, as well as the carrot-over-stick argument, was a top concern for Fortune 500 companies who responded to a cybersecurity questionnaire from Sen. Jay Rockefeller, as FCW reported earlier this month.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group