DBR ON DATA

Security, Privacy and Information Governance

Author: Lee G. Petro

Pending IoT Legislation Would Impose Significant Obligations on Manufacturers

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With the House and Senate returning to Washington in September, two recently-introduced Senate bills seek to address perceived vulnerabilities in the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices sold to the federal government and medical devices which regularly connect to the Internet.

Among the key takeaways in the legislation:

  • Legislation covers both products sold to the federal government and medical devices;
  • Legislation addresses “life of device” obligations of IoT device manufacturers;
  • Disclosure and Certification Requirements could create additional liability for manufacturers of Internet of Things devices.

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White House Issues ATC Report and Seeks Comments on IT Implementation Plan

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On August 30, the Trump administration unveiled an ambitious plan to upgrade the federal government’s cyberdefenses by shifting digital functions to the cloud and prioritizing security upgrades for the government’s most important systems.  In this plan, which in many ways continues the cyberefforts of the Obama administration, the White House’s American Technology Council (ATC) justified this large-scale approach due to what it characterized as the federal government’s longstanding less-than-adequate cyberefforts in the face of years of mounting digital threats.

The plan, grounded in the President’s May 2017 Executive Order (EO) 13,800,   tasked  the Director of the ATC to coordinate the preparation of a report to the President from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce (Commerce), regarding the modernization of Federal Information Technology (IT).  In accordance with EO 13,800, a draft IT Modernization report was submitted to the President last week.

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Time to Focus on Cybersecurity in Health Care

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In the wake of the WannaCry global attack that impacted the U.K.’s National Health Service, the need to protect valuable health care data has never been more urgent. The U.S. government has begun to take steps in the right direction with the passing of executive orders on cybersecurity, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, and the Government Accountability Office report on the Internet of Things.

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An Early Review of the Trump Administration’s Health Care Cybersecurity Task Force Report

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Formed by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, a task force established to share cybersecurity information between federal government and private industry representatives has released its “Report on Improving Cybersecurity in the Health Care Industry.” They presented six major action items for Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, other government agencies and private industry.

The Report organized its recommendations under six Imperatives:

  • Define and streamline leadership, governance, and expectations for health care industry cybersecurity;
  • Increase the security and resilience of medical devices and health IT;
  • Develop the health care workforce capacity necessary to prioritize and ensure cybersecurity awareness and technical capabilities;
  • Increase health care industry readiness through improved cybersecurity awareness and education;
  • Identify mechanisms to protect research and development efforts and intellectual property from attacks or exposure; and
  • Improve information sharing of industry threats, weaknesses, and mitigations.

In a recent alert, we evaluated the action items and draft recommendations prepared by the Task Force, = and discuss how the Trump administration will react to these new proposals.

Read our review of the Health Care Cybersecurity Task Force Report

Executive Orders Require Review of Federal IT and Cybersecurity Resources

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The Trump administration has issued two executive orders focusing on national cybersecurity. The first establishes the American Technology Council, tasking it with developing policy around the use of information technology by the federal government and providing insight into how information technology policy is delivered to the president.

The orders include aggressive deadlines for federal agencies to submit reports on the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure entities, which may be difficult to meet.

For more insight, read our detailed review of the executive orders.

Proposed Changes to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued an update to its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity on January 10, 2017. The updated draft Version 1.1 was issued after NIST’s review of considerable public and private-sector feedback on Version 1.0.

The updated five Framework Core Functions remain the same as the previous iteration: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover. Version 1.1 now includes enhanced categories, subcategories and guidance, including cyber supply chain risk management, safer information sharing, cybersecurity measurement and stronger measures for device authentication.

The updated draft includes improvements but is intended to remain a voluntary cyber risk management tool that organizations can customize.

Read our overview of the updates and insights on some of the highlights.

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