To the Editor:
Re “Shortcomings of Cybersecurity Bills” (editorial, May 14):
The “shortcomings” referred to in this editorial are in fact critically important legislative fixes that will empower businesses and government agencies with the best information to protect consumers and stay ahead of the rapidly evolving and increasingly malicious nature of cyberattacks.
Businesses and government need the ability to learn from each other regarding the nature and location of cyberattacks. This sharing of information will enable the public and private sectors to continually improve network security and protect Americans’ information from cybercriminals.
To be clear: The goal is not to share personally identifiable information about clients. Our goal is the exact opposite: to protect Americans’ sensitive information from threat or destruction. All of us — industry, government and consumers — are aligned in our effort to thwart criminal behavior.
Unfortunately, there are currently too many roadblocks that prevent businesses and government from learning from each other. Liability protections must be put in place so that businesses that share or receive cyberthreat information, or act proactively to prevent an attack, do not find themselves in violation of the law.
This is not about broad surveillance, hypothetical threats or uninformed action. We’re talking about real, specific intelligence about threats. Cybersecurity legislation must move forward.
KENNETH E. BENTSEN Jr.
President and Chief Executive
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
The letter was also signed by the leaders of the Financial Services Institute, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum and the Financial Services Roundtable.