Feds mull IT disclosure

Thursday, 17 April 2003, 11:39 AM EST

Momentum is building in Washington to require all public companies to annually report the performance of their IT security initiatives, not just the financial services and health care industries that face scrutiny now.

The Bush administration considered requiring companies to report on network security during the crafting of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. But the idea was unpopular in many enterprises and did not make the final plan, released in February.

Last week, former presidential adviser for cyberspace Richard Clarke, who spearheaded the strategy, urged Congress to act quickly to legislate such obligations.

Enterprises object to the suggestion of broad reporting requirements, but some see a certified audit process reflected in annual Securities and Exchange Commission filings as beneficial.

"I think IT will begin taking on the same relative importance that finance and accounting has within a company," said Michael Schwedhelm, senior vice president and CIO of Union Labor Bank, in Oakland, Calif. "What I see happening is something along the lines of CPAs for network security."

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