Cybersecurity legislation introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., on Tuesday empowers the Department of Homeland Security to regulate cyber standards for the nation’s critical infrartucture systems.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 calls on the DHS secretary to work with the private sector in identifying systems that pose the greatest risk and could cause death, severe economic damage or national security risks if attacked. DHS and the private sector would be responsible for creating performance standards for owners and operators of power grids and other systems if none exist.
Industry would have to decide how best to meet the performance standards in addition to doing annual self-reporting to DHS. Those that submit annual reports and meet performance standards would receive liability protection from punitive damages in the event of a cyber attack.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., cosponsored the bill.