Nominations Now Open for the 2014 ‘NextGen’ Technology Awards

The SIIA Software Division announced today that 18 cutting edge companies in the technology industry will be recognized in the 2014 NextGen program.

SIIA’s NextGen program provides exposure to early-stage companies delivering game-changing solutions. The program aims to bring awareness to 6 verticals: Mobile, Social, Big Data, Security, Healthcare, and Financial Services. Nominating companies will be judged by a group of industry experts who will determine which company is the Most Innovative, Most Disruptive, and who is the overall NexGen winner of the category.

Much of the discussion about market disruption has focused on large, brand name businesses, but there is tremendous innovation taking place at companies that get little attention. NextGen companies– chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of M&A, VC and advisory executives–are young businesses that offer cutting-edge software and services.

NextGen winners will be announced on a progressive basis throughout 2014. Deadlines and awards presentations are as follows:

  • Mobile vertical nominations close January 31, and awards will be held Feb 12.
  • Social vertical nominations close March 31, and awards will be held April 11
  • Big data vertical nominations will close May 31, and awards will be held June 13
  • Security vertical nominations will close July 31, and awards will be held August 20
  • Healthcare vertical nominations will close September 30, and awards will be held October 17
  • Financial Services vertical nominations will close November 30, and awards will be held December 12

Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.

SIIA Joins other Trade Groups in Supporting Cyber Legislation Introduced Today

Today, SIIA joined with other leading trade associations in support of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), bipartisan cybersecurity legislation introduced today by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) to enhance sharing of cyber threat information between the public and private sectors.  Early detection and notification of cybersecurity threats is the most critical component of preventing and mitigating cyber-attacks. CISPA would establish a framework that enables the public and private sectors to work together in sharing information on known threats and vulnerabilities, and enactment of this legislation would increase security across the board.

Mark MacCarthy, Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology. Follow the SIIA Public Policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy

SIIA Applauds Cybersecurity Commitment Announced in Tonight’s State of the Union Address

SIIA congratulates President Obama and his Administration for making cybersecurity a priority. We appreciate the President’s efforts to seek broad input in crafting the Executive Order signed today. We are particularly pleased that the Executive Order excludes commercial information technology products and consumer information technology services from the definition of ‘critical infrastructure at greatest risk.’ The Administration is clearly seeking to advance American innovation with this effort, however, the way in which the Order is implemented will be critical in determining its success or failure.

As we work with the Administration on implementation, a priority for our industry will be to avoid rigid regulations that impede the innovation that is essential for effective cybersecurity.

A regulatory approach seeking to cover a broad, rapidly-evolving cross-section of industry would have the unintended consequence of slowing technological innovation and limiting our collective cybersecurity preparedness. Therefore, it is essential that the Administration work with industry to implement the Executive Order in a way that retains necessary flexibility. Technological innovation must be allowed keep up with rapid developments pertaining to both cybersecurity threats and protections.

To that end, we look forward to continuing to work closely with the Administration and congressional leaders to implement this policy.

Ken WaschKen Wasch is President of SIIA. Follow the SIIA Policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.

SIIA, Industry Gather at White House to Pledge Leadership Role in Stopping Botnets

At a White House event today, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) expressed a commitment to working with the Administration to address the growing dangers posed by botnets. SIIA is part of a multi-industry group that today announced its Principles for Voluntary Efforts to Reduce the Impact of Botnets in Cyberspace. SIIA President Ken Wasch and representatives of other industry groups were joined by Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, other administration officials and industry leaders including Michael DeCeasare CEO of McAfee.

As the leading organization representing software and digital media companies, SIIA and its members are at the forefront of the fight against botnets and other forms of Internet security threats. For example, McAfee provides a suite of tools for consumers and businesses to keep their systems free of infections and to remove malware and botnets from their infected systems. And Google recently launched a notification effort for users of computers and routers infected with the DNSChanger malware.

SIIA is committed to addressing botnet security threats by working collaboratively with the government and by promoting the work of our members. It is vital that industry and government work together to ensure that public policy encourages private sector innovation and flexibility. After all, it is the products and tools produced by companies such as McAfee and Google that are empowering consumers and businesses to fight Internet security threats.

To that aim, SIIA is part of the Industry Botnet Group (“IBG”), which was formed earlier this year to collaborate on and encourage voluntary efforts to reduce the effectiveness of botnets. Botnets infect computers, threatening the trust and confidence of online users and undermining the efficiencies and economic growth spurred by the Internet. The IBG’s principles call on Internet participants to coordinate and communicate with each other and voluntarily work to fight the effectiveness of botnets across the botnet lifecycle. More information is available at

Ken WaschKen Wasch is President of SIIA.

Webinar: How to Develop Software in the Cloud – Securely

Companies look to develop their software and services in a Cloud-based environment for its convenient and flexible access.  However, this convenience and flexibility comes with its own risk.  Listen to this pre-recorded webinar as Grant Thornton and CloudPassage discuss how to develop software in the Cloud – securely.

Mitchell Simon, Managing Director, Grant Thornton
Rand Wacker, Vice President of Product Management, CloudPassage

Grant Thornton’s slides

CloudPassage’s slides

Digital Policy Roundup: Facebook, Cyber Security and Small Businesses Dominate the Hill

Headlining the day, the FTC announced that Facebook agreed to settle the Commission’s charges that it deceived consumers. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to enhance its privacy practices, including the terms for which it provides notice to consumers and provides for consent for information sharing, and it would require the Company to undergo privacy audits over the next two decades. The settlement underscores the need for broad privacy legislation, this is further confirmation that the FTC’s long-standing authority over unfair or deceptive trade practices is sufficient for providing thorough enforcement in the privacy arena.

Keeping the cybersecurity train moving forward in the House, and keeping consistent with the House Cybersecurity Task Force goal to address cyber on an individual basis within the committees of jurisdiction, there are two cyber developments scheduled for this week. First Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) will unveil new bipartisan cybersecurity legislation on Wednesday to provide the government “the authority to share classified cyber threat information on potential attacks with approved American companies.”

And on Thursday, the House Small Business Committee will hold a cyber hearing on protecting small businesses, where Phyllis Schneck, Vice President for McAfee, Inc., will be testifying on behalf of SIIA. The hearing will also include testimony from Task Force leader Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), highlighting the recent recommendations of the House Task Force.

David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy.

SIIA submits comments on Cybersecurity, Innovation and the Internet Economy

In our continuing effort to maintain and expand the partnership between the private sector and the government to address our nation’s cybersecurity challenges, SIIA submitted comments to the Department of Commerce on Monday in response to their recent Green Paper on Cybersecurity, Innovation and the Internet Economy.

At the heart of the Green Paper is an effort to help define the roles of the Government and the private sector in combating cybersecurity threats and protecting the systems and networks that support the infrastructure that drives the nation’s economy. In our comments, SIIA offered strong support for the Department’s approach of looking toward voluntary codes of conduct for an innovative sector such as the Internet and Information Innovation Sector (I3S). We noted that the most critical element of achieving these goals is to resist an approach that is overly-prescriptive, where mandates would have the adverse effect of slowing the development of standards in the private sector, or the unintended effect of putting U.S. companies at a disadvantage to their counterparts around the world. Given the broad, rapidly-evolving cross-section of industry that comprises the I3S, a flexible industry-led approach is the correct best path forward to achieve an ideal security framework, rather than a regulatory model.

SIIA also noted that while the primary purpose of the Green Paper is to discuss an area that is outside of the critical infrastructure segment, and to bolster security in this area, this exercise can also help to appropriately define the critical framework of what is “covered critical infrastructure,” and it can help to avoid confusion and appropriately allocate resources where they are most needed.

For SIIA policy updates including upcoming events, news and analysis, subscribe to SIIA’s weekly policy email newsletter, Digital Policy Roundup.

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