[ISN] Bills aim at raising infosec expertise

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 01:49:57 PST

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    By Diane Frank 
    Jan. 29, 2002
    Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) introduced two bills Jan. 28 aimed at
    raising the level of information security expertise within government
    and the private sector.
    One piece of legislation, the Cyberterrorism Preparedness Act, would
    create a nonprofit group of academic and industry experts to develop a
    set of best practices for protecting computers and networks against
    This follows recommendations from the White House's Office of Science
    and Technology Policy and other experts, according to Edwards' office.  
    Edwards is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
    The bill initially would require a report on which best practices
    federal agencies should implement, first through pilots and then
    governmentwide. It then mandates a study on how to get the private
    sector to adopt the best practices, including an examination of
    whether federal contractors and grant recipients should be required to
    follow the best practices.
    Edwards' other bill, the Cybersecurity Research and Education Act,
    focuses on increasing the number of security researchers and teachers
    available to build the overall level of security expertise in the
    United States.
    The bill would fund information assurance fellowships for doctoral
    students, with further incentives for those students to teach after
    receiving their degrees. Currently, less than half of 1 percent of
    computer science doctoral candidates specialize in information
    security, and very few of them go into teaching.
    The bill also creates a distinguished faculty sabbatical program that
    would bring top security professors to research-oriented universities
    and colleges to work on innovative projects. It also would establish
    an Internet-based security university and information clearinghouse to
    enable researchers to share information and expertise.
    The senator's office did not specify any funding levels for the
    initiatives included in the bill.
    Last month, the House Science Committee passed similar legislation,
    the Cyber Security Research and Development Act, which would provide
    almost $1.2 billion over the next five years for research, grants and
    education through the National Science Foundation and the National
    Institute of Standards and Technology.
    The National Science Foundation already is working with colleges and
    universities to offer security scholarships and build security
    education programs through the Scholarship for Service initiative
    created by the Clinton administration.
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