Obama Addresses Cybersecurity

January 13, 2015

Obama podium2On Monday, Jan. 12, President Barack Obama spoke out on the importance of cybersecurity and highlighted several bills aimed at improving American’s online security. As part of his week-long focus on the issue of cybersecurity, Obama highlighted three specific pieces of legislation he intends to pursue following the State of the Union Address next week.

During his address at the Federal Trade Commission on Monday, likely a precursor to his State of the Union address comments on the issue, Obama cited the following provisions:

  • The Personal Data Notification and Protection Act

Clarifies and strengthens the requirements on companies to notify customers in the event of a data breach and institutes a 30-day timeframe within which they must do this; and criminalizes illicit overseas trade in identities.

  • The Student Digital Privacy Act

Ensures that data collected in the educational context is used only for educational purposes, and prohibits companies from selling student data to third parties for purposes unrelated to the educational mission; and prevents firms from sending targeted advertising to students based on data collected in school.

  • An updated Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights bill

Building upon the administration’s 2012 proposal by the same name, the administration announced the completion of efforts to garner public comment on the proposal and plans to release a formal legislative package within 45 days.

Cybersecurity is a huge concern for America’s small businesses, both in terms of being targeted by a cyber-attack as well as potential unintended consequences of unnecessary regulatory burdens that could accompany efforts to stem online attacks. According to NSBA’s 2013 Small Business Technology Survey, 94 percent of small-business owners say they are very or somewhat concerned about cybersecurity while nearly half of small businesses have been the victim of a cyber-attack. Cyber-attacks cost small businesses on average $8,699 per attack.

Please click here to learn more about President Obama’s initiatives.