Chamber of Commerce urges Trump to get business input for cyber strategy

Chamber of Commerce urges Trump to get business input for cyber strategy
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is making several recommendations for the Trump administration on cybersecurity, including soliciting private sector input for a new cybersecurity strategy and modernizing the government’s IT infrastructure. 

The Chamber unveiled the cybersecurity policy priorities on Thursday at a conference in Salt Lake City.

Among the business federation’s recommendations, the Chamber urges the White House to work with regulated industry sectors to “harmonize” cybersecurity regulations with the optional National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework. 

“The White House and agency chiefs need to work with regulated industry sectors to harmonize cyber regulations with the Framework,” the recommendations state. “The Chamber wants to see this initiative begin this year. Streamlining overlapping and/or conflicting cyber red tape is a top priority.” 

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The administration has already signaled its embrace of the framework, indicating that it will require federal agencies to adopt it and track their progress on cybersecurity.

“We’re going to go through a thoughtful approach that requires federal departments and agencies to adopt and implement cybersecurity framework developed by NIST and any subsequent iteration of that document,” White House homeland security adviser Thomas Bossert told a cybersecurity conference earlier this month.

The Chamber also calls for the passage of legislation to modernize the federal government’s IT infrastructure. The organization backed the Modernizing Government Technology Act, introduced by Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) in the last Congress, and plans to support similar legislation this year.

The recommendations also state that the federal government should clarify the roles and responsibilities of the public and private sectors when it comes to cybersecurity.

According to the Chamber, the new administration should also craft a new cybersecurity strategy with input from business leaders and emphasize the adherence to international norms and deterrence in the strategy. 

The recommendations also touch on the need to increase security around "internet of things" components and update the Wassenaar Arrangement to make “meaningful changes” to controls on intrusion software added in 2013.

“When networks are secure, businesses have a better chance to succeed,” said Ann Beauchesne, the Chamber’s senior vice president for national security and emergency preparedness. “Through awareness, education, and public-private partnerships, we can turn cyber challenges into opportunities to innovate, create jobs, and grow the economy.”

The Trump administration has highlighted cybersecurity as a priority, most recently allocating $1.5 billion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for cybersecurity in its proposed fiscal year 2018 federal budget.

The administration has also signaled that it will deepen cooperation with the private sector on cybersecurity, which has been welcomed by industry representatives.