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Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and the Cloud

Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and the Cloud

Speaking of Laws and Regulations Governing the Cloud Computing Environment, we cannot ignore the latest cybersecurity bills proposed this year. There have been many cyber bills proposed, but none was as important as the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, supported by the Obama Administration. Cybersecurity is a top administration priority for Obama’s second term. His approach to IT security will influence the U.S cloud computing environment over the next four years.

When it comes to cloud computing, security is top-of-mind for each institution, public and private. In a recent study, defense contractor Lockheed Martin and its Cyber Security Alliance partners acquired feedback from government agencies in an effort to measure attitudes around cloud computing and cybersecurity. 85% of government technology decision makers cite cybersecurity as a high priority, with at least one or more related initiatives underway.

This year, in July, senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins proposed the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 . The act would have required companies to voluntary create best practices for the protection of key infrastructures from cyber attacks. In August, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was defeated in the Senate, but President Obama continues to support some of the cyber security standards.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 sets cyber security standards for critical infrastructure, and encourages information sharing on cyber threats between businesses and the U.S. government. Data breach or intrusion risks are seen to be higher for any company that stores personal information or that operates in the cloud.

 The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is the product of a public-private partnership and would:

·          Allow private industry groups to develop and recommend voluntary cybersecurity best practices

·         Allow owners of critical infrastructure to participate in a voluntary cybersecurity program.

·         Permit information-sharing among the private sector and the federal government.

·         Require designated critical infrastructure to report cyber incidents.

 The Obama Administration has been particularly focused on improving government services through the use of cloud computing technologies. Government agencies using cloud computing technologies should keep a close eye on The Cybersecurity Act. No matter the outcome of the legislation, companies still have to ensure that they are compliant with existing laws with respect to cybersecurity.

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