Senate bill seeks to bolster cyber support for small businesses at the state level – MeriTalk

Sen. Maggie Hassan, DN.H., introduced legislation Aug. 4 to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of small businesses by providing funding to Small Business Development Centers that will help businesses with security.

The Small Business Cybersecurity Act would establish a federal program to provide direct grants to small business development centers to create or continue cybersecurity programs for small businesses. Small business development centers can use the funds to provide cybersecurity training to small business employees and administer small business cybersecurity posture reviews.

The centers were created by the US Small Business Administration to provide information tools to support start-up businesses and to help existing businesses grow.

“As small businesses continue to modernize and work more online, the risk of cyberattacks becomes more serious,” Senator Hassan said in a statement. Press release. “I encourage my colleagues to pass this bill so that Small Business Development Centers… across the country can continue to work to protect small businesses from cyberattacks and help them thrive.”

“A cyberattack can severely weaken a small business’s operations, and it’s critical that small businesses have the tools to ward off those risks,” said Liz Gray, state director for the New Hampshire Small Business Development Council.

If Sen. Hassan’s bill becomes law, the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center’s cybersecurity review program — which began in 2020 — will be bolstered with additional financial support, the senator’s office said.

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center’s Cybersecurity Review Program, with the support of funding authorized by the CARES Act, helps small businesses in New Hampshire strengthen cybersecurity. New funding from Senator Hassan’s bill would ensure that the program continues to help small businesses strengthen their cybersecurity posture.

“I am delighted that Senator Hassan is now introducing this bill to help us continue our efforts. This program is critical to providing small businesses in our state with additional tools to prepare for cyberattacks,” Gray said.

Norman D. Briggs