House plans vote on bill to improve small business cyber preparedness

The Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act would develop cybersecurity awareness and training programs for small businesses through the SBA’s small business development centers.
The Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act would develop cybersecurity awareness and training programs for small businesses through the SBA’s small business development centers.

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Wednesday on legislation that would task the Small Business Administration (SBA) with assisting small businesses in improving preparedness against cyber threats.

The Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act (H.R. 5064) is sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee's contracting and workforce subcommittee. The proposal would develop cybersecurity awareness and training programs for small businesses through the SBA's small business development centers.

It is “increasingly concerning for small businesses that are the target of three out of every five cyberattacks,” Rep. Hanna and co-sponsor Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) wrote in a statement. Hackers often view small businesses “as easier targets because many lack adequate protections to avoid intrusions” and lack incident response plans, the statement said.

Information security challenges have been a longtime difficulty for many small businesses, as the SBA has faced its own cybersecurity failings. The agency's weak security practices were detailed in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published a year ago.
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