By Tony Romm
The FCC on Tuesday began the process of establishing a voluntary
cybersecurity certification program for Internet and other communication
The commission announced its plans in this morning's Federal Register,
noting it would solicit comments on its tentative cybersecurity ideas
until Sept. 8. The voluntary certification program was first proposed as
part of the agency's National Broadband Plan, the comprehensive agenda
the FCC released in March.
Chiefly motivating the FCC's new cybersecurity certification program are
reports that hacks and cyberattacks grew exponentially in 2009. One firm
told the commission that the total number of malware samples archived in
its database last year reached 40 million -- its highest point in 20
At the same time, however, the FCC noted an independent review that
found 47 percent of all enterprises studied in 2009 actually reduced
their information-security budgets.
"The security of the core communications infrastructure--the plumbing of
cyberspace--is believed to be robust," the FCC noted in the register.
"Yet recent trends suggest that the networks and the platforms on which
Internet users rely are becoming increasingly susceptible to operator
error and malicious cyber attack.
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