Are the US Congress serious about cyber security? What does it say about all governments?

I have been following the failed passing of the new cyber security bill that the US Congress have been debating for the last 6 months.   Bought to the congress by senator McCane it was a bill to tighten up the cyber security of all business in the US and make them accountable, especially business that have an involvement in critical infrastructure.

I have very little knowledge of how the US system of government works, but I do understand that at the moment their limited knowledge of the cyber security problem is putting everyone in their country at risk as well as the rest of the civilised world.

There seems to be a  world wide phenomenon of government inaction across the whole of the Western world, in how to manage and how to protect their constituents.   A good cyber security program will deliver better security but it will involve a higher level of inconvenience.

Like any security measure, there is going to be inconvenience, the higher the security requirements the more inconvenient the process will be.  We see that in normal everyday life.  Depending on where you live, you have locks on the doors and windows, some places have screens, bars and alarms and others have no windows and biometrics, passwords and codes to get through the door.   The more secure the location has to be the more inconvenient the security measures will be.

This to me seems more than common sense.    To my understanding the governments of the western world are becoming more and more irrelevant and are incapable of handling the phenomenon that is the Internet and social media.   Some members of the elected governments have an understanding of it, the rest are constantly playing catchup to understand what is happening around them.

If they want to protect their constituents they need to do three things.   They need to have a single focus on the problems associated with cyber security,  they need to stop listening to the noisy minority, the ones who put up all of the silly objections and start to focus on a better solution for the majority and they need to declare their allegiance to big business and corporate America.   They have to excuse themselves from their allegiance or the debate.

The protection of business and the solution for cyber security needs to be focused on cyber security, it does not need clauses for gun control and abortion as they have no relevant bearing on that protection.   The voting and discussion of a government bill, especially one on cyber security, should be focused on the correctness and the fairness of the bill not on whether or not the senator can push his own barrow.

The rest of the world is looking for leadership, but if the USA cannot get it right what are the hopes of any other country of putting together a comprehensive cyber security protection solution.    I really do not understand why the world is like that, it just is.   Either the USA has to get its act together or some other country needs to put forward a cyber security proposal that will work.

Maybe someone in the USA needs to sue the congress for NOT protecting them in cyber space, that will get them motivated and going in the right direction.   With the breaches in amazon, google, yahoo, e-harmony and iCloud in the last 6 months someone somewhere has to believe they there is a better way!

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.