Legislative Branch Activity

Upcoming Hearings:

  • Tuesday, March 4: The House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology and Subcommittee on Oversight will host a joint hearing titled “Can Technology Protect Americans from International Cybercriminals?” Dr. Charles Romine, Director of the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will be a witness at the hearing. In addition, several private sector representatives are scheduled to testify at the hearing, including witnesses from the Payment Card Industry Security standards Council, Smart Card Alliance, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.
  • Wednesday, March 5: The House Financial Service Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will host a hearing titled “Data Security: Examining Efforts to Protect Americans’ Financial Information.”

Executive Branch Activity

NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Over the last year, the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has hosted several events focused on cybersecurity insurance to promote stakeholder discussions about how to move the cyber insurance market forward. Building on the ideas that were discussed at the various roundtable and workshop events, NPPD has issued sector-specific reports about the cyber insurance markets in various sectors, including the most recent Cyber Insurance Roundtable Readout Report, which focuses on cost/benefit approaches for cyber risk management in the health care sector. The report notes that, in general, large health care organizations have a low level of cybersecurity funding and staffing and are particularly susceptible to cyber attacks given their lack of focus on protecting their networks from cyber vulnerabilities.

FY 2015 Cybersecurity Funding

President Obama plans to release his FY 2015 budget in two sections this year with the first part scheduled to be released this Tuesday, March 4 and the second section released next Tuesday, March 11. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in a speech last week that the Department of Defense will increase cybersecurity spending in its FY 2015 budget request to help improve its cyber capabilities and focus more on intelligence gathering and reconnaissance.

Another area of the President’s FY 2015 budget of particular interest to cybersecurity stakeholders will be in determining funding in the DHS budget for its new Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community voluntary program, which is designed to encourage critical infrastructure to adopt the NIST Cybersecurity Framework that was recently released. Through the program, DHS has offered a suite of existing tools to help companies assess their cybersecurity needs and assist with the implementation of the Framework. While these resources have been available to companies in the past, it is likely that more companies will request cybersecurity reviews from DHS in the coming year, requiring more funding for the program to meet a higher demand from the private sector.