Congress wants to take a bite out of cyber crime

Cyber Liability LawIt is possible that the U.S. could see the first strategic, cybersecurity law proposed, being up for a vote in Congress. No administration has ever suggested a major law, outlining specific plans for increasing computer security for citizens, businesses and government entities.

An investigative report shows that data breaches reached an all time high last year, with more than 760 breaches. This may not sound too bad, but the number of affected records from that 760, equaled over 4 million. Cyber criminals have adapted to most types of security applications and have basically, just changed their strategies.

Their targets now are mostly opportunistic strikes. They go for smaller and easier targets instead of big, large scale jobs. It seems like the area of interest (for now) is in personal data, such as passwords, account numbers, credentials and so on. Other key targets have been financial, retail and hospitality businesses.

Clickjacking attacks on Facebook, Sony security breaches and Epsilon Data Management breaches have been making big news in the headlines recently. The Epsilon breaches alone compromised the data of consumers from over 57 companies; affecting millions of people.

With these attacks and increasing attacks to transportation and financial networks, as well as to our electricity grid; President Obama has made the cybersecurity issue an administrative priority. The proposed legislation main points are to protect the American people, our nation’s critical infrastructure and federal government computers and networks.

The Administration’s proposal also guarantees protection of individual’s civil liberties and privacy. Federal agencies (and their contractors) will be required to follow privacy procedures as well as, civil liberty procedures. There will be limits on monitoring activities and collecting, using, sharing and holding of information.

Consumer protection is high on the list also; accounting for the addition of a national reporting of data breaches and developing federal penalties for cybercriminals. White House officials say the proposed plan is an essential balance between safeguarding privacy, strengthening security and promoting the continuation of economic development.

This coming just in time for a big surge in what is now coined as, mobile commerce. With new technology coming to the U.S. that will allow consumers do virtual anything on their phone, security is a hot issue. Industry reporter, Lisa Green from, states  that we will see Near Field Communication technology in our phones has early as the end of this year. These NFC phones will allow consumers to pay for store items all from their phone, a virtual wallet of sorts. 

With new ways to steal ones identity, the hopes are that Congress can get the (proposed) legislation enacted before the end of this year.

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