Industry leaders were disappointed that lawmakers stripped out language from a national intelligence reform bill that would have created an assistant secretary for cybersecurity in the Department of Homeland Security.
The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), which supported creation of the post, decried the omission, saying it leaves the door open to future cyber attacks. The group called on the next Congress to address the issue immediately.
In October, the House had passed a bill to reform the nation's intelligence community, which included a provision for the new cybersecurity post.
"Through exceptional bipartisan cooperation, Congressional supporters worked this measure into the House bill in the shared belief that it would strengthen our national security posture," ITAA President Harris Miller said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, this measure has become a casualty of predictably mercurial conference negotiations," he added.
Currently, the nation's cybersecurity efforts are headed by the director of DHS' National Cyber Security Division. ITAA believes the position is too low in DHS to successfully improve cybersecurity in the public and private sectors.
The Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a security vendor group, also has called for the new, higher postion.