Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act included in Federal Budget
On December 18, President Obama signed legislation to encourage businesses to share cyberthreat information with the federal government. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is part of the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. CISA will establish a process for the government to share cyberthreat information with businesses that voluntarily agree to participate in the program.
The data voluntarily shared as part of the CISA will go to a hub managed the Department of Homeland Security. When a company discovers suspicious activity on its systems, it would give information about the attack to the government, which would then warn other companies. The type of data shared would ideally be “threat indicators” – technical information about the malware used or the methods that attackers used covered their tracks after sneaking through systems. Some businesses already share similar data through industry specific groups, such as FS-ISAC, the global financial industry’s resource for cyber and physical threat intelligence analysis and sharing.
Data in the hub can also be shared with other federal agencies, including the departments of Commerce, Defense (which oversees the CIA), Energy, Justice (the FBI), Treasury (which oversees the IRS), and the office of the director of national intelligence (which oversees the NSA). Currently, cyberthreat information can be shared via US-CERT, which investigates and responds to incidents and then distributes vulnerability and threat information through its National Cyber Awareness System (NCAS).
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