S. 1353, a Bipartisan Cybersecurity Bill Offered by Senators Rockefeller and Thune

Dear Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Thune:

The undersigned organizations, representing the financial services industry, are writing in support of S. 1353, the Cybersecurity Act of 2013, as introduced, and to thank you for your leadership in forging a bipartisan bill.

S. 1353 would improve the cybersecurity of our nation in several ways. In particular, it encourages the private and public sectors to collaborate on standards, guidelines, and best practices. It also increases research and development for the design and testing of software, upgrades education for the workforce and students so that they will be better prepared to stimulate and support innovation in cybersecurity, and promotes a national cybersecurity awareness campaign.

We agree that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is uniquely suited to facilitate the necessary private and public sector collaboration called for in this bill. Title I of the bill updates NIST’s statutory authority to ensure that voluntary standards and best practices will be developed and maintained on an ongoing basis to reduce the cyber risks to the nation. 

Title II would task the Office of Science and Technology Policy to create a national cybersecurity research and development plan focused on the design and testing of software, the protection of individual privacy, and the effects of consumer education. We support this, but also recommend that the plan include a focus on ensuring supply chain security for both hardware and software that our sector relies on. 

To read the full Comment Letter, download the PDF.