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Rubio, Peters Introduce the Small Business Cybersecurity Assistance Act

Jul 8, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, joined Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) in introducing The Small Business Cybersecurity Assistance Act of 2019, which aims to better educate small businesses on cybersecurity through counselors and resources offered at Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Specifically, the bill directs the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to become a cybersecurity clearinghouse by consolidating and managing federal government cybersecurity materials so small businesses can easily access information in one place. It also requires Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to train SBDC counselors on higher-level cybersecurity information and to develop cybersecurity materials they can disseminate to the small business community.
The bill incorporates recommendations suggested by DHS and SBA’s Small Business Development Center Cyber Strategy in a report published on March 15, 2019, which described challenges small businesses face with implementing cybersecurity for their business, including the confusing nature of government cyber resources and a lack of training.
“As technology continues to play an integral role in the way business is conducted in the 21st century economy, we must equip our small businesses with the tools they need to combat cyber criminals and protect their networks,” Rubio said. “Cyber criminals and state-sponsored foreign hackers continue to target small businesses’ online systems, paralyzing their networks and ability to operate. This bipartisan bill ensures that small businesses have greater access to critical resources and training to better protect their networks before a cyber-attack occurs. I appreciate working with Senator Peters to address this ongoing issue, and look forward to the Senate Small Business Committee’s continued bipartisan effort to comprehensively reauthorize the Small Business Act.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing tens of millions of Americans nationwide,” Peters said. “As we’ve seen in recent years, a breach at a small business not only has devastating consequences for that company’s future, it can also be the doorway for breaches of larger companies. Yet too many small business owners say they lack the resources they need to safeguard their businesses and customers from hackers, fraudsters, and cybercriminals. This commonsense legislation will help ensure small businesses can access much-needed information and training to secure their systems from malicious cyber-attacks.”
The Small Business Cybersecurity Act:

  • Permits SBDCs to use their current grant funding from SBA to provide cybersecurity training and technical resources to small businesses. 
  • Directs SBA, in consultation with DHS, and SBDCs to manage and disseminate cybersecurity materials created by federal government agencies.
  • Directs DHS, in consultation with SBA, to create a “train-the-trainer” program with SBDC counselors and requires DHS to develop online cybersecurity materials for small businesses to utilize.