Senate Fails to Advance Key Cybersecurity Legislation

August 8, 2012

Last Thursday, the Senate was unable to invoke cloture on a motion to close debate on the revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414), which provides for a flexible and voluntary, incentives-based system (or standards) to encourage owners and operators of the country’s most critical infrastructure systems (e.g. electric grids, banking systems, etc.) to meet much-needed cybersecurity requirements.

The motion was defeated by a vote of 52-46. A total of sixty votes was required to advance the measure. Whether or not an agreement can be reached on amendments (among other issues) remains to be seen, but time is running out to enact legislation to address our nation’s cyber vulnerabilities.

Addressing our nation’s cyber vulnerabilities is of particular interest to America’s small-business community, specifically with respect to the digital networks connecting our country’s financial institutions. Further complicating the issue, are the inadequate protections afforded to small-business bank accounts.  Under federal law, small-business accounts do not receive the same safeguards as personal accounts, even though the majority of small businesses are sole proprietorships.

NSBA will continue to monitor the situation and will update members as necessary.

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