This week—during a closed session—the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence passed the Cyber Information Sharing Act. The CISA is a renewed effort by the federal government to regulate cybersecurity in the private sector. The bill aims to prevent cyberattacks, such as the recent high profile retail industry breaches, which compromise private consumer data and often result in the theft of confidential, proprietary trade secrets.

Here are the key points you should know about the bill if it moves forward in Congress:

  • Provides liability protection to the private sector to promote voluntary real time data sharing between companies and the federal government
  • Increases data sharing from the federal government to the private sector to give companies information that could aid them in investigating cyberattacks and further securing computer systems
  • Authorizes the private sector, with customer consent, to implement computer monitoring and other cyberattack countermeasures to deter cyberattacks

The CISA faces opposition from privacy groups, similar to that faced by the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, passed last year by the House. The next hurdle for the bill will be to pass the full Senate.