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 ChabotSECURE it — for small businesses and their workers Bottom Line Consequential GOP class of 1994 all but disappears MORE (R-Ohio) and Dwight EvansDwight (Dewey) EvansOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Buttigieg targets Warren, Sanders on health care ahead of debate | Judge overturns ObamaCare transgender protections | Poll sees support drop for 'Medicare for All' A dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal House Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment MORE (D-Pa.) are sponsoring the bill passed on Tuesday. Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate Foreign Relations chair: 'Best' not to pass Turkey sanctions bill 'at this moment' Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House MORE (R-Idaho), who chairs the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has introduced similar legislation in the upper chamber.