August 02, 2018

Bipartisan Bill Supported by Senator Hassan to Improve Cybersecurity Resources for Small Businesses Heads to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Small Business Cybersecurity Act, which will provide a consistent set of resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats. Senator Hassan cosponsored the bill as part of her efforts to support New Hampshire’s innovative small businesses, which are the backbone of the Granite State’s economy, and are unfortunately a major target for cyberattacks.

“New Hampshire’s innovative small businesses are the engine of our economy, helping to create jobs and drive economic growth,” Senator Hassan said. “Unfortunately, these small businesses are increasingly becoming targets of cyberattacks, which threaten their livelihood and the privacy of their customers. This bipartisan bill is integral to ensuring that our small businesses have the support and resources they need to protect against such cyberattacks, and I urge the President to sign it into law without delay.”

The bipartisan bill was introduced by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and James Risch (R-ID).  In 2014, the Senate unanimously passed the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, which codified the industry-led process for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, a comprehensive voluntary guide for organizations and businesses to better manage and reduce cybersecurity risks. While this framework continues to play a key role in improving the cyber resilience of the United States, additional coordinated resources may be necessary to improve the ability of small businesses to use it. The legislation, formerly known as the MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act, will ensure NIST considers the needs of small businesses as it updates the framework and provide simplified, consistent resources based on the NIST framework specifically for small businesses.

This week, Senator Hassan and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) also introduced the bipartisan Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2018 to bolster cybersecurity efforts at the Department of Homeland Security and help prevent cyberattacks on federal agencies and in the private sector by making “cyber hunt” and “cyber incident response” teams permanent.