April 30 The top U.S. communications regulator
on Thursday urged cable companies to help draft and implement
new cybersecurity standards as he seeks to improve the cyber
defenses of the industries he oversees.
"The more we learn about the challenges of cybersecurity and
the costs of failure, the more apparent the importance of
addressing this challenge with best efforts, including yours,"
Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission,
said at the cable industry trade show in Los Angeles.
"We're intending this to be a new regulatory paradigm, and
we're giving you the opportunity to write it. I urge you to step
up, so we don't have to."
The FCC, whose oversight includes major wireless and
Internet providers, has in the past tried to adopt industry-wide
minimum cybersecurity standards but faced resistance from large
Wheeler, at the FCC's helm since November 2013, has
reignited the effort. A multi-stakeholder advisory group known
as the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability
Council (CSRIC) has started a new review of industry best
practices meant to defend the critical networks and
communications infrastructure against cyber threats.
That review is based on the minimum cybersecurity standards
offered to the private sector by the federal government in the
so-called cybersecurity framework introduced in February. The
voluntary guidelines, built with vast amounts of industry input,
consist of broad benchmarks for companies to measure the
effectiveness of their cyber defenses.
"Over the course of the year we will need to see this
translate into actual implementation," Wheeler said on Thursday.
He said he expected CSRIC's work to be an industry-led
effort to "proactively assess cyber readiness" within companies,
inform boardrooms of risk assessments and share parts of those
assessments with others within the industry.
"We expect this to be done in such a way that those charged
with oversight across the regulatory tapestry, recognize and
understand the accepted cyber risk," he said.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Bernard Orr)