A group of Senate Republicans led by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) have opposed the critical infrastructure measures in Lieberman’s bill and introduced a rival measure, the SECURE IT Act, that focuses on improving information sharing between government and industry about cyberthreats.
Kyl and Whitehouse have been trying to bridge the differences between the two pieces of legislation and get both parties on board with an approach to spur critical infrastructure operators — such as telecommunications networks, water systems and transportation networks — to better secure their computer systems.
“We look forward to working with lawmakers and staff and will be advocating that any legislation reflects the effective and nonregulatory approaches supported by the Chamber in the SECURE IT bill and CISPA [Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act],” a spokesman for the Chamber said.
But it will be tough to get the business lobby onboard with any new set of cybersecurity regulations. The Chamber argued the critical infrastructure provisions in Lieberman’s bill would add another layer of bureaucracy over existing security structures and turn industry’s focus from securing their systems to complying with federal rules.
Lieberman, along with Senate Democrats, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and the White House, have said security mandates are needed to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from escalating cybersecurity threats.