New cybersecurity-centric legislation is on the table to strengthen small businesses’ defenses by providing funding to Small Business Development Centers.
The Small Businesses Cybersecurity Act aligns with major MSP & MSSP concern: Proper cybersecurity training for small business owners & employees. Key goals include:
- Establish a federal program to provide direct grants to Small Business Development Centers in order to create or continue cybersecurity programs for small businesses
- Help Small Business Development Centers provide cybersecurity training for small business employees and administer reviews of small business’s cybersecurity
$20 Million a Year for SBA
The bill would authorize $20 million in 2023 and every year thereafter to the Small Business Administration (SBA), according to a copy of the proposed legislation obtained by SC Media, MSSP Alert’s sister site.
Were the bill to become law, it could be right 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 referenced by the bill’s sponsors, the Kaseya VSA supply chain cyber attack that hit some 50 MSPs a year ago and spread to hundreds of small businesses, may have influenced lawmakers to pay more attention to strengthening their defenses.
The Senate bill, introduced by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), would provide funding to the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center’s Cybersecurity Review program. Hassan has been a strong proponent 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 that involves confidential information and inform lawmakers of the agency’s cyber capabilities. The Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act would require small business development centers to have employees certified in cyber strategy counseling for small businesses.
Sen. Hassan explained the imperative for the cyber legislation:
“As small businesses continue to modernize and do more work online, the risk of cyberattacks becomes more serious. New Hampshire’s Small Business Development Center is providing crucial support to local businesses, reviewing their cybersecurity and helping them 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 keep working to protect small businesses from cyberattacks and help them thrive.”