New cybersecurity-focused legislation is on the table to bolster small business defenses by providing funding to small business development centers.
The Small Business Cybersecurity Act:
- Establish a federal program to provide direct grants to small business development centers to create or continue cybersecurity programs for small businesses
- Assisting Small Business Development Centers with providing cybersecurity training to small business employees and administering small business cybersecurity exams
$20 million per year for SBA
The bill would authorize $20 million in 2023 and annually thereafter to the Small Business Administration (SBA), according to a copy of the bill obtained by SC Media, the sister site of MSSP Alert.
If the bill becomes law, it could find itself in the wheelhouse of managed security service providers and managed service providers engaged with SMBs to protect customer networks from cyber attackers. Although not directly mentioned by the sponsors of the bill, the Kaseya VSA supply chain cyberattack that hit some 50 MSPs a year ago and spread to hundreds of small businesses, may have prompted lawmakers to pay more attention to strengthening their defenses.
The Senate bill, introduced by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), would provide funding for the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center’s cybersecurity review program. Hassan has been a strong supporter of cybersecurity at the federal, state and local levels.
More Cyber Legislation Proposed
Two companion bills were introduced in the House last November that would require the SBA to report to Congress a cybersecurity breach involving confidential information and inform lawmakers of the agency’s cyber capabilities. The Small Business Development Centers Cyber Training Act would require small business development centers to have employees certified in cyber strategy consulting for small businesses.
Senator Hassan explained the imperative of cyberlaws:
“As small businesses continue to modernize and work more online, the risk of cyberattacks becomes more serious. New Hampshire’s Small Business Development Center provides crucial support to local businesses, reviewing their cybersecurity and helping them to defend against hackers. I encourage my colleagues to pass this bill so that small business development centers in New Hampshire and across the country can continue to work to protect small businesses from cyberattacks and help them prosper.