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2/14/2013
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Business Roundtable Endorses Bipartisan Cybersecurity Legislation

"Missing piece of effective cybersecurity is robust, two-way information sharing, with appropriate legal and privacy protections, between business and government," said Business Roundtable President John Engler

Washington – In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in a hearing on "Advanced Cyber Threats Facing Our Nation," Business Roundtable President John Engler endorsed the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act." Engler told Congress:

"We applaud [Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger] for reintroducing the 'Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act' (CISPA), which Business Roundtable supported last year. We highly encourage you to continue to work with your counterparts in the Senate, as well as with the Administration, to ensure this important legislation contains appropriate legal and privacy protections that will pass both chambers of Congress expeditiously and be signed by the President. ...

"Cybersecurity threats are dynamic and ever-evolving. Some cyber adversaries seek to disrupt critical services and the delivery of goods and services, while others are stealing sensitive government and corporate information at alarming rates. Cyber adversaries are highly motivated and constantly shifting and changing their methods to accomplish these ends. ...

"From our perspective, the missing piece of effective cybersecurity is robust, two-way information sharing, with appropriate legal and privacy protections, between business and government. The public-private information sharing partnerships in place today are good but not good enough. They are not sufficiently capable of responding to escalating threats. ...

"The current information sharing environment is not supported by strong legal protections to safeguard companies that share and receive cybersecurity information from civil or criminal action. Companies lack formal guidance on antitrust laws, which creates uncertainties for working within and across sectors to share threat information and risk management and mitigation techniques.

"Furthermore, there are not nearly enough security clearances. In many cases, only one or two employees are cleared even within very large global enterprises, which create difficulties in communicating problems and acting quickly across global operations. And, without access to timely and actionable threat information, senior corporate leaders can only speculate about which threats are greatest and how to best manage them. ...

"... [W]e support ... robust, two-way information sharing, with appropriate legal and privacy protections, between government and the private sector to exchange the specific threat information that will allow both government and businesses to better secure the nation's critical assets. The government must create a clear and predictable legal framework for private sector to private sector and private sector to public sector sharing, with appropriate liability and antitrust protections for those acting within the framework.

"... [T]he public and private sectors should develop and integrate roles and responsibilities that enable us to systematically work together toward the common goal of protecting our information assets. The Business Roundtable supports policies that build upon existing efforts to develop threat-informed risk management and mitigation methodologies to anticipate and respond to the most serious threats. To accomplish threat-informed risk management, an effective partnership should build on existing sector policy coordinating councils and government operations centers, and position senior public and private sector leaders to collaboratively oversee cybersecurity efforts."

Click here to view the full testimony.

# # #

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 16 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $150 billion annually in research and development – equal to 61% of U.S. private R&D spending. Our companies pay $182 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate nearly $500 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually.

BRT companies give more than $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.

Please visit us at www.brt.org, check us out on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter.

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