Legislators Look For New Ways To Battle Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity has been a priority for the last several years. With a recent survey predicting that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, governments around the world are looking to find ways to protect not only themselves, but also organizations within their countries.

The U.S. government has been working to set up protections, and in 2018, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was established, boosting the nation’s ability to defend against cyberattacks as well as working with the federal government to provide much-needed cybersecurity tools.

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Legislators have also been hard at work trying to get new bills passed to protect Americans from cyber threats. Just this week, House and Senate legislators have proposed new legislation aimed at boosting cybersecurity resources for local governments, small businesses (SMBs), and nonprofit organizations.

The bipartisan and bicameral Improving Cybersecurity of Small Organizations Act is sponsored by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and John Katko (R-NY), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity subcommittee, and Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

The bill would direct the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to issue guidance on evidence-based cybersecurity policies and controls for small organizations; require CISA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Minority Business Development Agency to promote the guidance; require the Secretary of Commerce to submit a report to Congress that details methods to encourage small organizations to improve their cybersecurity; and mandate that the SBA report on the state of small business cybersecurity every two years.

Hopefully, this bill will fare better that last year’s Small Business Cybersecurity Assistance Act of 2019, proposed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Gary Peters (D-MI) to educate small businesses on cybersecurity and give them access to the federal government’s cybersecurity materials.

“Today, small businesses, local governments, and regional non-profits are facing growing risks when it comes to cybersecurity. Unfortunately, the guidance that is available is overly complicated or geared toward organizations with greater resources,” said Rep. Katko. “This bipartisan bill requires CISA to issue straightforward actions small organizations should take to protect their systems and devices from common cyber threats.”