NTSC Technology Security Roundup

Weekly News Roundup: September 18, 2017

Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act Introduced by US Senate

For companies that handle personal information about people who are not customers or employees, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wants to ensure these companies implement better privacy and security measures. In the wake of the Equifax data breach, he is reintroducing his Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act in the US Senate. According to The Hill, “The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would mandate ‘comprehensive’ privacy and security programs at data brokers and allow the public to opt out of having their data included in data sales. The FTC would be in charge of enforcement.”

Energy Department Invests Up to $50 Million to Improve Critical Energy Infrastructure

Last Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced awards of up to $50 million to support early stage research and development of next-generation tools and technologies to further improve the resilience of the nation's critical energy infrastructure, including the electric grid and oil and natural gas infrastructure. According to a press release, “The seven Resilient Distribution Systems projects awarded through DOE’s Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) will develop and validate innovative approaches to enhance the resilience of distribution systems – including microgrids – with high penetration of clean distributed energy resources (DER) and emerging grid technologies at regional scale.”

Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act Proposed as Amendment to NDAA

Senators Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) have proposed the Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). According to The Hill, “The bipartisan bill, which cleared the Senate Commerce Committee in August, would update and expand the cyber scholarship-for-service program run by the National Science Foundation for students pursuing degrees in cybersecurity fields.” This bill is a response to the ongoing critical cybersecurity talent shortage that plagues American businesses.

Gartner Says Finance Is Moving to the Cloud Much Faster Than Expected

According to a press release from Gartner, a major shift is taking place in how enterprises select their financial management applications, with a migration to cloud applications happening faster than expected. A recent Gartner survey of senior finance executives found that by 2020, 36 percent of enterprises will use the cloud to support more than half of their transactional systems of record. According to the survey:

  • Organizations of all sizes are moving to cloud solutions, such as core financial applications, for transactional systems of record.
  • Cloud momentum is consistently higher across financial business applications year over year.
  • Business analytics and enterprise business applications continue as top investment initiatives for senior financial executives.

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board May Update Cybersecurity Auditing Rules

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) (represented by associate director Glenn Tempro at a recent conference) indicated that it may update cybersecurity auditing rules when assessing a public company’s cybersecurity defenses. According to Bloomberg, Tempro said “that software audit tools are enabling auditors to assess increasing volumes of data to better identify risks and to tailor their approaches to conducting an audit. […] Cybersecurity also becomes the auditor’s concern because cyber attacks may affect the reliability of the information that auditors evaluate. Risks include unauthorized access to data that might result in destruction or improper changes to information, such as reporting unauthorized or nonexistent transactions…”