South Carolina Senate advances cyber security bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a bill meant to increase oversight of public agencies' computer systems following last fall's massive breach at the Department of Revenue.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday on the measure centralizing responsibility of cyber security.

It directs the governor to negotiate up to 10 years of identity theft protection for residents through the state's bid process. Under the $12 million, 1-year contract Gov. Nikki Haley negotiated last fall, Experian monitors customers' credit for new accounts and provides after-the-fact alerts. The bill encourages future contracts to cover other types of fraud.

Residents who prove they've been victimized by the hacking could be reimbursed by the state. However, experts say a direct connection is impossible to prove.

The bill requires another vote before heading to the House.