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House passes bills to boost small business cybersecurity
The House passed legislation by voice vote on Monday intended to increase cybersecurity at the Small Business Administration (SBA) and separately approved a bill to help small businesses defend against cyber attacks.
The SBA Cyber Awareness Act, sponsored primarily by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), would require the SBA to produce an annual report to Congress that assesses the quality of its information technology, and that details any equipment used by the SBA that was manufactured in China. The report would also be required to include details of all cyber risks or incidents faced by the agency since the previous report was submitted.
The bill would also require the SBA to notify Congress within seven days of a suspected cyber incident or attack on the agency and concurrently notify individuals and small businesses impacted by this incident within 30 days.
"Cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats to our economy and small businesses," Crow said in a statement when introducing the bill in April. "Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy but are increasingly the target of cyber attacks and theft of small business data and intellectual property."
The House on Monday also passed the Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act by voice vote. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), would require counselors at small business development centers to be certified in cybersecurity to assist small businesses in preventing and responding to cyber attacks.
"There is no question that improving the cybersecurity for small businesses should be an urgent priority," Chabot said on the House floor prior to the bill's passage.
Both bills were previously approved by the House Small Business Committee in June, and both have companion measures sponsored by Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that are awaiting votes in the upper chamber.