House passes bill to help small businesses guard against hackers

House passes bill to help small businesses guard against hackers
© Thinkstock

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ChabotHouse passes series of measures hitting Russia, Putin Trump applauded for walking away from 'bad' North Korea deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race MORE (R-Ohio) and Dwight EvansDwight (Dewey) Michael EvansTen Dem lawmakers added to House Ways and Means Committee Here are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown Dem leaders fend off calls to impeach Trump MORE (D-Pa.) are sponsoring the bill passed on Tuesday. Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischTrump pick for Saudi ambassador defends US relationship with Riyadh Briefing calms senators' nerves after Trump-Kim summit Chris Evans talks NATO, Marvel secrets on Capitol Hill MORE (R-Idaho), who chairs the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has introduced similar legislation in the upper chamber.