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Supporting Manufacturers’ Efforts to Adopt Good Cyber-hygiene Is Critical to Our National and Economic Security
• Internet-based attacks on businesses are rising, and protecting our nation’s cyber-infrastructure is of critical importance to manufacturers and other American businesses. • Viruses, hacker intrusions, spyware and spam can lead to lost or stolen data, computer down time, decreased productivity, compliance issues, lost sales and even loss of reputation for businesses of all sizes. • Manufacturers believe effective cybersecurity legislation builds on the cooperation and trust developed between industry and government to protect America’s information infrastructure. • Manufacturers also build and manage the infrastructure that makes up the Internet. Technology-neutral open standards and best practices will allow manufacturers who act as network operators the speed and flexibility to keep cyber-criminals in check. • Encouraging manufacturers to adopt industry-standard best practices through incentives is the best way to ensure innovation while addressing the evolving threats to our nation’s security. In contrast, mandates on the use of specific technologies or standards would unduly inhibit innovation.
How Congress Can Help
• Support legislation that allows the private sector to continue developing appropriate general and industryspecific best practices for improved security and avoids imposing a prescriptive regulatory framework. • Encourage government officials to share timely and actionable threat and vulnerability information with the private sector. • Support policies that require all cybersecurity solutions to be technology-neutral, open, interoperable, and to incorporate industry-based best practices and standards. • Support business incentives that encourage small and medium manufacturers to adopt good cybermaintenance practices.
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In addition to threatening national security, cyber-attacks take their toll on businesses in terms of lost time and additional costs. A recent study reveals that, on average, cybercrime costs organizations in the United States about $3.8 million per incident per year.1 According to another recent study, the prime targets of cyber-attacks are small and medium-sized businesses, with one-third of the respondents experiencing more than four attacks in the last three years.2 The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) supports the development and deployment of new technologies and best practices to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. Congress can encourage cybersecurity adoption by: • establishing protections from liability for companies that create innovative technologies;
• protecting industry communications to the government on breaches or system vulnerabilities; • increasing information sharing between the government and the private sector; and • promoting a healthy cyber-insurance market.
To improve the security of the U.S. economy, government must partner with manufacturers—through open channels of communication and targeted incentives—to bolster key resources and adopt best practices.
“The Cost of Cybercrime Study: 2010,” Ponemon Institute, July 2010. “Does Size Matter? The Security Challenge of the SMB,” McAfee, July 2008.
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