Marco Rubio Pushes Two Measures to Help Protect Small Businesses from Cybersecurity Threats
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said it’s hard enough for small businesses to get up and running, and cautioned that cyberattacks can bring a quick end to all of that hard work. Small businesses fall victim to approximately 43% of all attacks, according to the Senator. While ransomware attacks on individuals have fallen, he says attacks targeting businesses rose 12% in the last year -- and these attacks are not rare occurrences. Almost 55% of small businesses were victim to phishing attacks in 2017 -- up 30% from 2015, he says. On Wednesday, as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, he introduced two pieces of legislation that he says will protect small businesses from the threats that cybercrime pose. The SBA Cyber Awareness Act, which he introduced with Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD), would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to develop a cyber strategy, examine its IT system components’ country of origin, and report on breaches and threats to the Small Business Committees. “Amidst rapid technological advances, shifting global economic trends, and rising foreign adversaries, we must continue to protect our small businesses. This includes emerging and evolving cybersecurity threats,” Rubio said. “My two bills will give small businesses the tools they need to safeguard themselves against the growing cybersecurity risks of the 21st century.” The other measure is the Small Business Cyber Training Act, which he introduced with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). This bill would create a training program for small business development centers (SBDCs) to prepare counselors in cyber planning assistance. Specifically, the bill would require SBDCs to employees certified in cyber strategy counseling for small businesses. “We know that cyber attacks on small businesses are significantly underreported, because they don’t know who to call, or they don’t want their customers to know that they were compromised,” said Rubio. “This bill will prepare SBDC counselors to provide important advice on cybersecurity to entrepreneurs when it matters most: at the beginning of the business life cycle.” More here.