The failure of the U.S. Senate to pass a cybersecurity bill this week occurred after intense Chamber of Commerce lobbying against the measure. The dispute is over the right approach: data sharing between the federal government and business alone, or the addition of tight “voluntary” standards that would cost industry some time and attention.
Business should rethink its opposition. Upgrading cybersecurity standards is costly. Paying huge sums in class-action judgments after hundreds or thousands of people have been killed by a cyber attack on a critical facility would be even more expensive—not to mention a moral indictment of the short-sightedness of business leaders.
In researching Digital Assassination, we uncovered shocking vulnerabilities in utility, water and chemical plant SCADA systems. When the Senate gets back in September, will they get on the stick and do something?
The danger to American lives is not a fantasy out of Tom Clancy potboiler. The danger is real and it is imminent.
This is one time we really don’t want to say, “told you so.”