Federal agencies and Congress accelerate defence against cyber attacks — every private company will be affected

By John A Merrigan, Lawrence E Levinson and Sydney M White

Online espionage has become a common threat for US corporations. FBI director Robert Mueller said: ‘There are only two types of companies — those that have been hacked and those that will be.’

The problem for companies is serious and goes beyond espionage by competitors and foreign governments. Clean-up costs can be expensive and disclosure can subject companies to civil liability.

Until now, the federal government has addressed cyber threats through disparate initiatives, including DHS and sector-specific federal agencies critical infrastructure protection, CFIUS, GSA procurement regulations for government contractors, Commerce Department NIST standards and State Department CISADA sanctions, coupled with parallel congressional investigations…

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