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House passes bill to help small businesses guard against hackers

House passes bill to help small businesses guard against hackers
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House lawmakers on Tuesday approved legislation meant to help small businesses better guard themselves against digital threats.

The bill, introduced by the chairman of the House Small Business Committee, would clear the way for employees of small business development centers across the country to receive training in cybersecurity.

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The House passed the bill in a voice vote Tuesday afternoon.

Specifically, the legislation would require the Small Business Administration to establish a “cyber counseling certification program” to provide cybersecurity training to employees at small business centers that receive federal grants. The idea is to ensure that these small business development centers can provide cybersecurity assistance to small businesses that ask for it. 

The legislation would also mandate that the Small Business Administration reimburse development centers for costs associated with cyber training, though the price tag could not exceed $350,000 in any given year. 

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have become increasingly worried that small businesses are more susceptible to cyberattacks because they lack the resources that larger companies have to make major investments in cybersecurity. 

Reps. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Top GOP lawmaker touts 'more flexible' PPP loans in bipartisan proposal MORE (R-Ohio) and Dwight EvansDwight (Dewey) EvansHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Will the next coronavirus relief package leave essential workers behind? Bipartisan GROCER Act would give tax break to frontline workers MORE (D-Pa.) are sponsoring the bill passed on Tuesday. Sen. Jim RischJim Elroy RischBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE (R-Idaho), who chairs the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has introduced similar legislation in the upper chamber.