Congress: Tighten IT security

    Date23 Apr 2002
    CategoryGovernment
    3492
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Prompted by last year's terrorist attacks, momentum is building on Capitol Hill to expand the role of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in establishing IT security standards and best practices. But the prospect is raising concerns in some circles. . . . Prompted by last year's terrorist attacks, momentum is building on Capitol Hill to expand the role of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in establishing IT security standards and best practices. But the prospect is raising concerns in some circles.

    Four bills are pending in the House and Senate that would double or triple the annual funding of NIST's Computer Security Division. One of these bills, the Cybersecurity Research and Development Act, passed the House with overwhelming support.

    After Sept. 11, the House Science Committee held hearings on the cyberterrorist threat and the lack of a coordinated U.S. response. The hearings focused on the need for more research and targeted NIST for much of the money. Other committees have focused on tightening the security of federal IT systems, which NIST oversees for all but national security systems. Lawmakers believe NIST needs "teeth" to be able to put more pressure on federal agencies.

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