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Press Release: U.S. Senate Passes Critical Cybersecurity Legislation
October 28, 2015
U.S. Senate Passes Critical Cybersecurity Legislation ATPC-Endorsed Bill Helps Protect American Consumer Payments
ATLANTA, GA (October 28, 2015) – The American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC) applauds the United States Senate for taking decisive action to protect America’s financial payment processing system today, with passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA – S. 754). The bill will now go to Conference Committee, where designees of the House of Representatives and Senate will negotiate differences between CISA and the main body’s Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA – H.R. 1560) and National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (NCPAA – H.R. 1731), before going to President Obama for consideration. These bills will help companies protect their customers’ data and thwart cyber-attacks.
The thrust of each bill is that companies will be able to more-freely share critical security information with the government, and each other, because of enhanced liability protections. This measure will benefit not only the payments processing industry that ATPC represents, but all American businesses operating in this age of information and security threats.
“Cybersecurity is of vital importance to the payment processing industry because patrons of our merchant customers expect their purchases to be handled safely and efficiently,” said ATPC Executive Director H. West Richards.“FinTech companies – including ATPC members – are spending millions annually to protect their systems, and the new liability protections outlined in CISA will allow us to more-freely share attack information with each other and the government, and in turn, invest in new technologies to meet the evolving consumer payment system expectations.”
Threats to merchants and consumers are real and not going away, whether transactions take place at a physical storefront or through an online portal. The Global State of Information Security Survey 2015 reports that the number of detected security incidents rose 48 percent from 2013 to 2014 – a 66 percent year-over-year increase from just five years ago. That means 117,000 attacks took place daily.
Few systems are more attractive to hackers or those wanting to disrupt America’s economy than our national electronic payments platforms, which consumers use more than ever, and in increasingly personal ways. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, credit and debit card payments grew from one-third of noncash payments in 2000 to two-thirds in 2012; and debit card payments grew by more than three billion transactions each year between 2009 and 2012.
The U.S. Senate passed CISA on a 74-21 vote, blocking the inclusion of several proposed amendments. The House and Senate will now appoint a group of Conferees to reconcile differences between the House and Senate Bills. Leadership has not indicated an exact timing for Conference but it is widely expected to begin meeting in the next couple of weeks in order for the Bill to be sent for President Obama’s signature before the end of the year.
“These bills promote information sharing around cybersecurity between private companies, instead of being forced to act independently to understand cyber threats and develop ways to combat them,”said Tony Catalfano, President and CEO of Worldpay US and Chairman of the ATPC.“We applaud the Senate for taking this critical action, and we will remain active in the negotiations to ensure an effective bill reaches President Obama’s desk for signature.”
This will not just help companies, including payments processors, become more secure. A more-secure environment will also allow companies to free up resources that they are currently devoting to security to invest more in product innovation, talent recruitment and expansion.