Senate Committee Approves Legislation for Cybersecurity Training

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April 11, 2019—Two bills approved by a U.S. Senate committee late last month would provide ASA members one more tool to protect their shops from cyber threats, according to a press release from ASA. On March 27, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held its first markup of the 116th Congress approving three bills. Two of the bills being considered, S. 771, the Small Business Cyber Training Act and S. 772, the SBA Cyber Awareness Act, were both introduced by Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Florida).

If passed, the “two bills will give small businesses the tools they need to safeguard themselves against the growing cybersecurity risks of the 21st century,” Sen. Rubio said in a news release.

S. 771 would create a program that trains counselors at the small business development centers (SBDCs) across the country in cyber strategy assistance. It would establish a cyber counseling program and require 10 percent of employees at leading SBDCs to become certified in cyber counseling. It would also require the SBA to reimburse SBDCs for costs of the program and amend Section 21 of the Small Business Act, which created the U.S. Small Business Administration.

S. 772 would ensure information technology systems at the Small Business Administration are protected from cyber criminals, assessing its internal cybersecurity while developing an agency cyber strategy. That strategy would be reported to the Senate and House Small Business Committees after enactment. The SBA would be required to report to the Senate and House Small Business Committees on the specific actions taken to secure agency data and threats.  

The committee contends it is imperative to safeguard against cyberthreats in a technologically advanced world. Cyberthreats and attacks are not discriminatory and any business, including a small business, can fall victim to an attack, subsequently suffering major losses for the business owners and their business.



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