House of Representatives pass bills aimed at improving small business cybersecurity

The US House of Representatives has passed two bills that are focused on improving the cybersecurity protections for small businesses in the United States.

According to Security Affairs, the first bill – the Small Business Administration (SBA) Cyber Awareness Act – aims to strengthen the capabilities of the SBA when it comes to handling and reporting cyber threats that impact small businesses.

The Act would also widen the SBA’s cybersecurity operations by mandating it to inform US Congress about its ability to tackle cyberthreats. The report would involve details on the SBA’s cybersecurity improvement strategy and infrastructure as well as the use of equipment manufactured by Chinese companies.

Republican Party Congresswoman Young Kim – who helped introduce the bill – said, “For more than two decades, the SBA’s Inspector General has listed IT security as one of the most pressing challenges facing the SBA. Unfortunately, SBA cybersecurity vulnerabilities were brought to light with unprecedented demand of SBA loan programs during COVID-19, discouraging entrepreneurs from starting a business and creating jobs.

“We must address this issue now and secure our systems so small business owners can safely utilize SBA’s resources as they work to recover from the pandemic, hire workers and adjust to rising costs of supplies.”

The second bill that passed the House was named the Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act. This bill aims to provide small businesses with the resources required to fight cyber threats on their own and help Small Business Development Centers better assist small businesses with cybersecurity-linked issues.

Chrissy Houlahan – Democratic Party Congresswoman and one of four who introduced the bill – commented, “If we aren’t protecting our small businesses, then we’re not protecting our economy. The rise in cyber-attacks against our economic infrastructure should be cause for serious alarm. We need to be doing everything in our power to not only shore up our defense but also equip our small business owners with the tools they need to defend their businesses.”

For a bill to become law, it has to pass both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, before arriving on the desk of the President to be signed into law.

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