recommended reading

Cybersecurity bill falls short in Senate, again

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Once again the Senate failed to advance sweeping cybersecurity legislation on Wednesday, setting the stage for a White House executive order aimed at protecting American computer networks from attack.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 with a vote of 51-47, short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure. A similar motion also failed in the Senate before the August recess.

“Cybersecurity is dead for this congress,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said after the vote.

Democrats and Republicans failed to find agreement on a finite list of amendments. Reid has accused the GOP of not taking cybersecurity seriously by trying to inject health care and abortion into the debate. Republicans, meanwhile, say Reid is trying to steamroll over critics.

“If we fail to pass legislation [President Obama] will issue an executive order that will do as much as it has authority to do to prevent a cybersecurity attack,” Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., one of the bill’s top sponsors, warned his colleagues. 

The Cybersecurity Act would establish a system of voluntary security standards for certain critical businesses like those that control electric grids or water treatment plants. Less controversial provisions would also encourage businesses and government to share cyberthreat information, boost programs to educate and train cybersecurity professionals, and update federal network-security policies.

Republican and industry detractors like U.S. Chamber of Commerce, however, say that the government should have little—if any—role in setting standards for private companies. Other critics contend that the Homeland Security Department couldn’t handle an increased role in cybersecurity matters.

Threatwatch Alert

Credential-stealing malware / User accounts compromised / Software vulnerability

Android Malware Infects More than 1M Phones, Adds 13,000 Devices a Day

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.