Microsoft Endorses White House Cybersecurity Plan

June 3, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire, Solution Providers
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via The Wall Street Journal

Microsoft’s cybersecurity czar approves of the Obama administration’s legislative proposal to protect the U.S. from Internet-based attacks. The plan, which calls for the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with the private sector, has come under fire from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which recently called it “regulatory overreach.” The Chamber particularly objected to a part of the plan that would require certain companies running the most crucial infrastructure to submit to outside cybersecurity oversight.

Scott Charney, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of trusted computing, said “reasonable minds can disagree” but endorsed the White House proposal. “It’s not reasonable to expect the market” to come up with solutions to safeguard critical infrastructure such as the financial industry, he said. The legislation proposed by the administration “is good and I think it’s good that the administration weighed in on the debate,” he told Digits.

However, Mr. Charney said that critics of the White House proposal have legitimate concerns about what constitutes critical infrastructure, and what happens if the DHS and its industry partners disagree about whether security measures suggested by the private sector go far enough in securing those assets.

The regulations “need to focus on the outcomes the country needs, but not be prescriptive about how it’s accomplished,” he said.

Mr. Charney was formerly a member of the Commission on Cybersecurity, which issued a report to the White House on the state of cybersecurity in January of this year. He said the commission did not have a direct influence on the administration’s legislative proposal.

Story here.