WASHINGTON - Warning that American companies are the target of an intensive cyber-espionage campaign, President Obama's top security officials on Wednesday said they are struggling to defend the nation from attacks on its private computer networks and called on Congress to pass legislation that would close regulatory gaps.
Obama signed an executive order earlier this week that relies heavily on participation from U.S. industry in creating new voluntary standards for protecting information. The order also expands the government's effort to share threat data with companies.
But lawmakers and cyber experts say that Obama's directive is missing what U.S. businesses need most: legal protection so they don't get sued if they acknowledge they've been hacked or share threat data with competitors. That can come only from Congress, which hasn't been able to agree on how to protect businesses and consumers alike.