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Fcc Unveils 'new Regulatory Paradigm' For Defeating Hackers

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FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

The Federal Communications Commission has unveiled a new regulatory model designed to help telephone companies and other telecom firms defend themselves from hackers.

Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working to expand its role among federal agencies charged with protecting the country's networks from cyberattacks.

The FCC recently unveiled a new regulatory model designed to help phone companies and other telecommunications firms defend themselves from malicious hackers. As part of the plan, telecommunications companies are being asked to voluntarily strengthen their networks and to develop a system for ensuring the work is done on schedule.

In addition, the FCC is studying how to unite companies to research new technologies to thwart hackers and to study the state of the U.S. cybersecurity workforce.

"Companies large and small within the communications sector must implement privacy-protective mechanisms to report cyberthreats to each other and, where necessary, to government authorities," says FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

If these companies fail to strengthen their protections for infrastructure and customer data, the U.S. economy could grind to a halt, according to national security officials.

The FCC's new procedure also calls on companies to voluntarily commit to adopting cybersecurity safeguards and taking self-designed corrective measures when those standards are not met.

"It is crucial that companies develop methodologies that give them a meaningful understanding of their risk exposure and risk management posture that can be communicated internally and externally," Wheeler says.

From The Washington Post
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