Today, WTA submitted comments on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework. NIST’s framework seeks to create a structure and guide by which critical infrastructure operators can assess the current state of their cybersecurity, identify where they would like to be according to their own risk assessment, and decide how to achieve that level.
In its comments, WTA expressed support for the industry-driven and voluntary approach NIST took in developing the framework. However, WTA raised important concerns related to the cost and administrative hurdles of enhancing cybersecurity measures for RLECs in the context of the FCC’s 2011 USF/ICC Order, the QRA, and the size of the average company.
These comments will serve as the first step in WTA’s advocacy on cybersecurity issues as it looks to work with other federal agencies and Congress to address the challenges RLECs face implementing cyber protections.