FCC begins implementing Internet security provisions

The FCC has begun implementing the cyber security provisions proposed in the National Broadband Plan, opening the comments period on a cyber security certification program and testing the strength of existing broadband infrastructure.

The Commission has opened up the public comment period on the proposed cyber security certification program for Internet service providers. According to the FCC, the nation's broadband networks have become increasingly susceptible to attacks as we conduct an increasingly number of important and sensitive transactions over high-speed networks.

In 2008, a Data Breach Investigations report concluded that 87 percent of cyber breaches could have been avoided if reasonable security controls had been in place.

The FCC is seeking advice on launching a voluntary cyber security certification program. A public-private partnership will eventually be tasked with creating and managing an industry-wide standard for cyber security. The benefits and costs, as well as the overall scope of the program, are currently being debated.

The goals of the voluntary cyber security certification program would be:

  • Increasing the security of the nation's broadband infrastructure;
  • Promoting additional cyber security in the communications market;
  • Offering consumers additional information about their communication providers' cyber security practices.

At the same time, the FCC began an inquiry into the survivability of existing broadband infrastructure in the case of a catastrophic event, such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other major public emergency.

Although broadband networks are generally presumed to be resilient, there may be some weaknesses present; for example, where the network meets residential and business customers.

As Americans increasingly rely on broadband services for many aspects of their lives - and as the FCC moves forward on devoting broadband spectrum to public safety and national security - understanding the limitations of existing networks is crucial.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke also announced the launch of an initiative designed to gather public input and review Internet privacy policies in light of recent innovation in online social networking.

FCC launches inquiry on proposed cyber security certification (FCC)

FCC commences inquiry on survivability of broadband infrastructure (FCC)

Commerce Secretary Locke announces public review of Internet privacy policies (NTIA)