FCC Calls For Industry Led Increase in Cybersecurity

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The private sector needs to "step up" and assume new responsibility, as well as market accountability, when it comes to managing cyber risks if they want to avoid new FCC regulations.  In an address given at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday, Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, shared this message and the importance of taking action against cyber threats.

"Wheeler is right to call on communications companies to continue to provide better security," Jeff Kagan, telecommunications industry analyst, said. "They do.  However, there is nothing they can do to eliminate the problem. It's a continual challenge to try and stay one step ahead of the bad guys."

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 5.01.48 PMThe FCC has tried to adopt a set of industry-wide minimum cyber security standards, but in doing so, has faced resistance from large communications companies as well as Congress.

The Obama administration has made an attempt to fill these security holes through executive action. However, Wheeler's message was clear, do better or face regulation. The FCC will not abdicate its responsibilities.

"The challenge is that this private sector-led effort must be more dynamic than traditional regulation and more measurably effective than blindly trusting the market or voluntary best practices to defend our country," Wheeler further explained. "The new paradigm for the communications sector must be real and meaningful. It has to work. The Commission's commitment to market accountability will help ensure that it does work. And, while I am confident that it will work, we must be ready with alternatives if it doesn't."

There are some companies who are being proactive and taking the necessary steps.

"The success of our business depends upon providing customers with a safe and secure network environment," Comcast said in a statement released on PC World. "For that reason, Comcast and other communications providers view cyber security as a key component of our overall enterprise risk management.  We have and will continue to be committed to taking a leadership role in establishing practices that meet the dynamic and ever-changing nature of these threats."

Hopefully other companies in the private sector follow suit before the FCC implements new regulations.

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