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Industry Backs Amendment to Cyberintelligence Sharing Bill

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has signed a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), along with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and the National Retail Federation (NRF), to express support for an amendment by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), bipartisan legislation that aims to combat cyberthreats and facilitate the sharing of information among companies and federal entities.

The so-called Cotton Amendment would grant liability protection for electronic sharing of cyberthreat indicators with the FBI and Secret Service outside of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) portal, in step with liability protections passed in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.

"Protecting the business community from frivolous lawsuits when sharing threat indicators and defensive measures is essential for collaboration across industries and is a key component in our defense against the growing sophistication and ongoing threat of hackers and cyberattacks," noted Nicholas Ahrens, VP, privacy and cybersecurity at Arlington, Va.-based RILA. "By enhancing public and private information sharing, CISA will help improve the overall cyberhygiene and data security practices of businesses nationwide and keep sensitive information secure."

Introduced by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), CISA establishes a standard procedure of information sharing between the federal government and private entities in regard to cyberthreat indicators.

"Retailers are deeply committed to passage of the Cotton Amendment and CISA to strengthen our cyberdefense and give companies the legal protections they need,” added Ahrens. “Cyberattacks are not going away, and we urge the Senate to act without delay."

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