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Congress still might get around to completing action this year on cybersecurity information-sharing legislation, but in the meantime the private sector and even the ponderous Department of Homeland Security are pressing ahead with their own initiatives.

Spies, thieves and terrorists in cyberspace leave behind telltale "indicators" of their activities. Cybersecurity experts envision a future in which information on threats is shared at "machine speed," or in real time, allowing rapid responses that minimize the impact of attacks.

Sharing information manually "takes hours, if you're lucky," William Nelson, the president and CEO of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said last week at an event sponsored by law firm Arent Fox. Nelson's group has collaborated with DHS on a project that brings that down to seconds. Under this new process, "Our worst case is 10 minutes. One second is our best case."

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