Friday, September 23, 2016

CyberSecurity Bill Passes US House - would authorize SBDCs to offer cyber support

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act of 2016 this week, to help small businesses protect themselves from cyberattacks.

A companion bill is still working its way through the Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee was approved by voice vote on a bipartisan basis.

Here are the main nuggets from that press release:

American small businesses are under cyberattack like never before. By one estimate, 71 percent of cyberattacks occurred in businesses with fewer than 100 employees. With America’s 28 million small businesses making up 54 percent of annual sales in the U.S., the frequency of such attacks and the high costs they create for small businesses could have ripple effects throughout our economy.

Small businesses are often not prepared to prevent cyberattacks or easily recover from the damages of successful intrusions. A report by Internet security firm McAfee found that 90 percent of small businesses do not use updated protocols for protecting sensitive consumer information and a separate study determined that 83 percent of small businesses do not have a cybersecurity plan. Statistics show that nearly 60 percent of small businesses will close within six months after a cyberattack.

The Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act of 2016 will help entrepreneurs take steps to protect themselves and their business from cybercrimes by providing them with the resources and support they need. To do this, the bill streamlines cyber support for small businesses by leveraging existing Federal programs and ensuring that the more than 900 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across the country have the tools, resources,and expert guidance to better meet the 21st century needs of small businesses in their communities.

The bill updates the Small Business Act and Homeland Security Act to authorize SBDCs to offer cyber support to small businesses in accordance with an SBDC Cyber Strategy, which is to be developed by the Department of Homeland Security in collaboration with the Small Business Administration. This strategy will provide guidance to SBDCs on how they can best leverage existing Federal resources to provide better access to much-needed cyber support services.

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