CUNA backs adding cybersecurity language to Senate defense bill

June 11, 2015

WASHINGTON (6/11/15)--Despite the alarming rise in the number and sophistication of cyberthreats, a federal standard to protect consumer data across the payment system currently does not exist, CUNA said Wednesday in a joint letter urging lawmakers to act.

CUNA wrote in support of an amendment to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment would add the text of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S. 754) to the defense bill.

In its letter to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.), CUNA urged all senators  to adopt this amendment "as it will increase the nation’s ability to defend against cyber-attacks by encouraging businesses and the government to share cyber-threat information more quickly and efficiently between the two sectors." The amendment is being offered by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

"Additionally, we urge the Senate to take greater steps to protect consumers from the scourge of data breaches. To that end, we urge the Senate to expedite consideration of the Data Security Act of 2015 (S. 961), introduced by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

"This legislation would ensure that all entities that handle sensitive financial and personal information have common-sense safeguards and processes in place to protect data and provide notice to consumers in the event of a breach," the CUNA joint letter said.

The Senate began voting on the defense bill June 4 and votes continue.

The other groups that signed the letter are the Consumer Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.