Industry Wants More Federal Help on Cyber Threats

Increased cybersecurity cooperation between government and the private sector hasn't gone far enough, representatives from the financial and telecom industries told a House panel Friday.

The Department of Homeland Security and other agencies have ramped up the amount of information they share about viruses and other cyber threats with the private sector in recent years.

But sometimes the delicate balance between giving vital threat information to private sector firms that are most vulnerable and protecting the government's classified investigations of those threats tips too far to in the direction of secrecy, panelists told members of the Homeland Security subcommittee on cybersecurity.

When there was an attack on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2010, for example, government officials didn't warn major financial institutions that might have been vulnerable to similar attacks for 102 days, Jane Carlin, chair of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council, an industry group aimed at preventing cyberattacks, told committee members.

The panel is holding a series of hearings about protecting "critical infrastructure," such as major financial institutions, utilities and telecom providers from cyberattacks.