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Budget Cuts Put Cybersecurity at Risk

A look at the week of March 26 in public advocacy for the IT channel: This week, the Senate passed the House’s JOBS Act, making it easier for small companies to raise capital. Budget cuts are hindering the government’s ability to hire the best cyber employees. NPR examines the risks that a cyberattack would have on U.S. critical infrastructure and the best regulatory course of action.

Budget Cuts Put Cybersecurity at Risk — Budget limitations are harming the government’s ability to compete with the private sector over cyber workers, which can offer more pay and more opportunities for advancement. Competition is particularly fierce in the U.S., where there is a shortage of students graduating with science, tech, engineering and math degrees. And the problem isn’t just finding skilled employees — it’s also keeping them around, says Politico.

Cybersecurity Bill: Vital Need or Just More Rules? — Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant, says NPR. The prospect of such a paralyzing strike has convinced U.S. security officials and members of Congress that a new law may be needed to promote improved cyberdefenses at critical facilities around the country. Progress on that legislation, however, has been slowed by a debate over whether new cybersecurity measures should be mandated or merely encouraged.

Senate Passes House GOP's JOBS Act — The Senate passed an amended version of House Republicans' Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a bill supporters say would generate jobs by easing capital formation regulations for small companies, reports The Hill. The legislation, which soared through the House earlier in March, with a 390-23 vote, survived fierce opposition in the Senate from powerful Democrats and several attempts to gut and replace many of its key provisions through the amendment process. Read CompTIA’s thoughts on the JOBS Act here.