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Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Senators introduce bill to enhance cybersecurity protections for small businesses

A bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators recently introduced the Making Available Information Now to Strengthen Trust and Resilience and Enhance Enterprise Technology (MAIN STREET) Cybersecurity Act, which aims to help small businesses protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.

The group includes U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Brian Schatz (D-HI) James Rich (R-ID), Maria Cantrell (D-WA), and Bill Nelson (D-FL).

“Cyberattacks can have catastrophic effects on small businesses and their customers,” Thune said. “This legislation offers important resources, specifically meeting the unique needs of small businesses, to help them guard sensitive data and systems from thieves and hackers.”

The bill’s introduction follows a recent report by the National Cybersecurity Alliance that found approximately 60 percent of all small businesses that fall victim to a cyberattack are forced to close shortly afterwards. Small businesses currently make up approximately half of all jobs in the United States.

The legislation builds upon Thune’s Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, which codified the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) cybersecurity framework to help businesses detect and mitigate risks from cybersecurity threats. The MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act, which is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, now updates the NIST framework to provide simplified, consistent resources for small businesses.