Many Fortune 500 companies support legislation to reform the nation’s current cybersecurity efforts, according to a new Senate survey.

Just one week after the Senate introduced the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act, co-sponsor of the legislation, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), on Wednesday released findings from the survey, noting that many of the nation’s top companies are open to the idea of a voluntary federal cybersecurity program.

According to the report, many Fortune 500 companies agreed that a voluntary program would enable the private sector to work with the government to protect the country’s critical information and infrastructure from cyber attacks.

“We support a voluntary program that enables the federal government and the private sector, in coordination, to develop best practices for companies to adopt as they so choose,” wrote an undisclosed financial industry Fortune 100 company. “Such a program would foster open communication and enable companies to make security decisions informed by the best information from the federal government as well as their own experience.”

However, one Fortune 100 energy company reported being “concerned that ‘voluntary’ will lead to ‘regulated’ resulting in precious resources being diverted away from active threat management to compliance-based activities.”

While the latest Senate cyber bill does clarify whether private sector participation in federal regulations would be mandatory, Rockefeller said the Fortune 500 companies’ feedback would be considered.

“Companies understand that the cyber threats we face are real and they understand that the federal government must play an important role in the nation’s cybersecurity moving forward,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “The companies’ responses will be a great resource as we refine much-needed cybersecurity legislation to improve and deepen the collaboration between our government and private sector.”


Michelle Kincaid is a DC-based public affairs professional specializing in technology policy. She is also creator of the blog  Follow her on Twitter at @OnCybersecurity.

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Michelle Kincaid is a DC-based public affairs professional specializing in technology policy. She is creator of the blog