US wakes up to SME cybersecurity needs
US President Donald Trump has signed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Small Business Cybersecurity Act, a bill which will provide a set of resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.
This legislation was authored by US Senators Brian Schatz and James Risch, who believe these businesses have become a major target for cyberattacks.
In a very American fashion, the statement says that it believes that small businesses are a pillar of the American economy, making up more than half of all jobs in the US.
“As businesses rely more and more on the internet to run efficiently and reach more customers, they will continue to be vulnerable to cyberattacks. But while big businesses have the resources to protect themselves, small businesses do not, and that’s exactly what makes them an easy target for hackers,” says Schatz, lead Democrat on the commerce subcommittee on communications, technology, innovation, and the internet.
He adds: “This new law will give small businesses the tools to firm up their cybersecurity infrastructure and fight online attacks.”
The bill also includes as cosponsors US Senators John Thune, Maria Cantwell, Bill Nelson Cory Gardner, Catherine Cortez Masto, Maggie Hassan, Claire McCaskill, and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Back in 2014, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 was passed, which codified the industry-led process for the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, a guide for organisations and businesses to better manage and reduce cybersecurity risks.
The proponents say additional coordinated resources are necessary, so the legislation, formerly known as the Main Street Cybersecurity Act, will ensure NIST includes small businesses in its cybersecurity framework.
Back in January of this year, the US government said in a cybersecurity report that businesses needed better marketplace incentives to build secure networks.
This follow last year’s revealed framework around fintech set by the US government.