WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) introduced H.R.4515, the Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act. Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), and Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA) joined Rep. Garbarino as original co-sponsors of this bipartisan bill.
“Cyber attacks are ramping up against everything from our critical infrastructure to schools and small businesses and we must do more to prepare for and mitigate against these attacks,” said Rep. Garbarino. “As both a member of the House Small Business Committee and Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Cybersecurity Subcommittee, I have seen how difficult it is for small businesses to arm themselves against these kinds of attacks due to resource constraints. It is my hope that this bipartisan legislation will be an impactful first step to getting small businesses the training they need to protect themselves from cyber criminals.”
The Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act would help Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) become better trained to assist small businesses with their cyber security and cyber strategy needs by establishing a cyber counseling certification program. SBDCs are non-federal resource partners that operate in cooperation with the SBA. The SBDC program is the largest small businesses assistance program with locations in every state and provides its services at no or low cost to small businesses.
“The recent scourge of ransomware and cyber attacks in our nation is proof positive that the federal government needs as many tools in their toolbox to fight these terrorists,” said Rep. Chabot. “I am proud to work on this legislation that helps the SBA work with small businesses to better prepare for and prevent cyber attacks.”
“If we aren’t protecting our small businesses, then we’re not protecting our economy,” said Rep. Houlahan. “The rise in cyber-attacks against our economic infrastructure should be cause for serious alarm. We need to be doing everything in our power to not only shore up our defense but also equip our small business owners with the tools they need to defend their businesses. I’m proud to partner with Representatives Chabot, Evans and Garbarino on this bipartisan effort.”
“Small businesses often don’t have the resources needed to fight cyber security threats on their own, and our bill would help them to do that,” said Rep. Evans.
This bill would authorize the SBA to reimburse SBDCs for employee certification costs up to $350,000 per fiscal year. It would amend section 21 of the Small Business Act and utilize existing federal resources to cover the reimbursement costs.
Small businesses often lack the resources or technical knowledge to prevent cyber attacks and, with the high costs of hiring specialized employees or cybersecurity experts, it can be difficult to bridge the sizable education gap. This bill would help small businesses get the information they need to implement their own cyber strategy and to take the appropriate steps in the event of a cyber attack against their business.