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SIFMA, FSR Urge Passage of Cyber Sharing Bill

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The Financial Services Roundtable and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association urged Senate leadership in a Monday letter to bring cybersecurity information sharing legislation to the floor as soon as possible. 

In their letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., SIFMA and FSR, along with 14 other financial services trade groups, said the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA) would encourage the sharing of critical cyber threat information between financial institutions, among and between sectors, and with the federal government in order to protect consumers and the nation’s financial infrastructure.

The bipartisan legislation was recently approved by a 14-1 vote by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“The financial services industry is dedicated to improving our capacity to protect customers and their sensitive information, but as it stands today, our laws do not do enough to foster information sharing and establish clear lines of communication with various government agencies responsible for cybersecurity,” the groups wrote in their letter. “CISA will strengthen the nation’s ability to defend against cyberattacks and better protect all Americans by encouraging the business community and the government to quickly and effectively share critical information about these threats while ensuring privacy.”

FSR urged President Barack Obama to help ensure the House’s legislative efforts, as well as those legislative efforts in the Senate, result in “a strong information sharing bill getting signed into law.”

Obama signed an executive order on April 1 that creates a new way for the U.S. government to better respond to the “most significant” cybersecurity threats, particularly in situations where “malicious cyber actors” may operate beyond the reach of existing authorities.

The executive order authorizes the secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the attorney general and the secretary of state, to impose sanctions on individuals or entities that engage in significant malicious cyber-enabled activities that are reasonably likely to result in, or have materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.

— Check out Obama Issues Order to Fight Cyberattacks on ThinkAdvisor.