Lifetime Protection Headlines Cyber Security Bill

7:53 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A bill that a state senator says would be South Carolina's first ever Cyber Security Bill will be filed in the Senate Wednesday.

In November, just two weeks after the data breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue, Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) and Sen. Billy O'Dell (R-Abbeville) were assigned to investigate the SCDOR's data breach by Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Hugh Leatherman.

Previous coverage: Senate Committee to Investigate Security Breach

Fast forward three months and the state's first Cyber Security Bill is ready to be filed. It's a piece of legislation that Senator Darrell Jackson (D-Richland County) says other than the budget, there's no bigger piece of state legislation.

"This issue goes beyond partisan politics," said Jackson. "This is one of the biggest issues this state has ever had to deal with."

The bill proposes to require the Governor to develop a lifetime protection plan with "identity theft" services free of charge to eligible citizens affected by the DOR breach. The bill would offer tax credits as a possible solution to pay for the some 4 million people needing protection.

"It is so important in my opinion to ensure this for the rest of peoples' lives," said Jackson. "How it's paid for could actually change, but what I think is so important is for the citizens of South Carolina to know, that protection will be available for them."

The Cyber Security and Identity Theft Protections Bill looks to create an identity theft unit within the Department of Consumer Affairs, a Technology Investment Council, and a Joint Information Security Oversight Committee.

But perhaps the the biggest change Jackson says would be the creation of a new State Department. The Department of Information Security would "develop statewide policies, standards, programs, and services related to cyber security and information systems."

"We had no one in these agencies who were responsible for information security. These are different times were are living in," said Jackson. "We may move from being the most vulnerable state, to the most protected state at the end of this process."

The bill will be filed Wednesday. Senator Jackson believes it will be in the hands of the Senate Finance Committee by next week.

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