Hope, but a lot of questions

With a new presidential administration about to take office, many are hopeful that the “change” promised on the campaign trail will begin to take effect sooner than later.

When it comes to industry regulations and the variety of data breach laws on the books, some look to President-elect Obama and express confidence that he can garner the momentum to help bring some needed order to the disparate edicts on the books, regulating everything from patient health care records to financial data to retail customers’ credit card information.

The Obama platform has offered specific remedies to help the government and private industry to become more efficient, including more automating of data accumulation. But, some warn that it will likely take time for any meaningful legislation to make its way through the Congress.

“With the current budget, it may or may not happen,” one vendor of compliance tools told SC yesterday. “In the early part of the administration, a reform bill is not likely to come out early,” he said.

But, as the stock market rally the past two days may show, the reaction to Obama’s competency in putting together an economic team portends positive results for future initiatives.

Even though he may be forbidden – for state security reasons – to use his BlackBerry, it’s comforting to know that the person in charge has an acute awareness of technology. We can pretty well assume he will be a champion and strong advocate for procedures affecting the transmission of data.

As well, President Obama is likely to show more concern than the previous administration for the affairs of the nation’s citizens, meaning that he will likely work to protect consumers from data fraud and enact stronger punishments for those responsible for data breaches.

In the January issue of SC Magazine, our reporter Angela Moscaritolo speaks with several experts on how an Obama presidency will affect the IT security field, referencing Obama's speech at Purdue University where he pointed out that our country’s system of information networks are the backbone of our economy.

We will also examine a brand new data breach law in Massachusetts, said to be the strictest in the nation. Will this become a model for federal legislation? Please check back, it's an ever evolving stage.

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