Commerce secretary warns of corporate espionage in push for cyber bill

"In the aggregate, the theft of this property, including everything from sensitive defense technology to innovative industrial designs, insidiously erodes government and corporate competitive advantages among global peers," he wrote.

"The effect on individual companies can be far more tangible and dramatic. U.S. companies invest considerable time and money in researching and developing new products, only to be undercut by competition, using their stolen property to make cheaper versions."

Bryson urged Congress to approve the Cybersecurity Act, a measure authored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), to encourage companies to share information about cyber threats and to set new security standards.

The op-ed, which appeared in Politico on Friday, is the administration's latest push for the Lieberman cybersecurity bill. On Wednesday, the entire Senate was invited to a cyberattack simulation with top administration officials. 

The simulation focused on the potentially catastrophic consequences of a cyberattack on critical infrastructure.

But a group of Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), argue that the Lieberman cybersecurity bill would impose burdensome regulations on businesses. They have introduced their own alternative measure, the Secure IT Act, which focuses on information sharing and enhanced penalties for computer hacking crimes.