The House of Representatives has passed the Small Business Association Cyber Awareness Act, aiming to help small businesses combat cyberattacks and raise cyber awareness.
The SBA Cyber Awareness Act would expand cyber security operations of the Small Business Association by requiring it to issue a report assessing the agency’s ability to combat cyber threats.
The agency will have to produce an annual Congressional report assessing its information technology and noting whether any of its equipment was manufactured in China.
“With 1.1 million Coloradans employed by small businesses, we need to protect them and the @SBAgov that serves them,” Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colorado) stated in his Twitter account.
“Cyber attacks have the ability to shut down small businesses and destabilize our economy. This bill helps protect millions of small businesses served by the SBA and puts them on the best footing possible to deal with our 21st century threats,” said Crow.
“I’m proud to have such strong bipartisan support for this bill and to deliver for the millions of small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.”
The House also passed the Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act sponsored by Steve Chabot. Counselors at small business development centers would need to be certified in cybersecurity to assist small businesses in preventing and responding to cyber attacks.
Both bills will now head to the Senate, joining a growing number of stalled cybersecurity-related measures waiting for a floor vote. Given that too many small business owners do not have the necessary resources to prevent security risks, it is crucial for the Senate to vote on the bills as soon as possible.
Recent years have shown that a breach at a small business can lead to devastating consequences and can also be a doorway for a breach at larger companies. The average cost of a cyber attack on a small business is over $30,000.
Furthermore, a recent study conducted that over 85% of small business owners say they fear cyberattacks and feel unprepared for one.