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Once the purview of science fiction movies and a few obvious member companies in Silicon Valley, cybersecurity has now become a burning concern for companies in nearly every sector of the economy and each of our members.  Cyberspace has become the new venue for crime, intellectual property theft, and intrusions and attacks by foreign governments.  Cyber attacks or cyber breaches now cost many of our members tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and – true to form – the patchwork of responses by states and federal agencies have often exacerbated a tough situation.  Luckily, Congress and the Administration are trying to address the situation this year, and are generally headed on the right path.

The Bay Area Council has received a prominent role in the D.C. debate due to our representation of the region most affected by the pending laws and regulations and our multi-sector membership.  Indeed our Cybersecurity Committee, chaired by Visa’s Chief Enterprise Risk Officer, Ellen Richey, includes companies in banking, technology, security, healthcare, energy, food, retail and finance, among others.  As breaches, violations, and cyber attacks increase in frequency and sophistication, it has become essential to swiftly develop and implement strong solutions that can be driven by private industry, with the assistance of government and law enforcement where appropriate.

Last Friday, the Council delivered our formal response to the U.S. Commerce Department (a lead agency on the issue) on their proposals.  You can read our letter here.  We have conducted conference calls with the White House and are in regular touch with staff of the leading legislators and committees that will decide on the legislation.  Our staff are now making regular trips out to D.C. to advocate on the issue, and we are preparing for a major member trip for October when cybersecurity legislation negotiations should be at their peak. To get involved with our Cybersecurity Committee, contact Linda Galliher at or 415-946-8708.

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