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On March 29, Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ranking Member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ranking Member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced the Making Available Information Now to Strengthen Trust and Resilience and Enhance Enterprise Technology (MAIN STREET) Cybersecurity Act. This bill will provide a consistent set of resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.
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 U.S., additional coordinated resources may be necessary to improve the ability of small businesses to use it. 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.
Considering nearly half of small businesses have been the victim of a cyber-attack, with an average cost of $7,115.26, NSBA believes a strong element of the MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act is tasking the NIST Director with reviewing the adequacy of the components of the NIST framework and its supporting materials to ensure they are usable by small businesses. By ensuring 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, NSBA members will better be able to safeguard their businesses against cyber criminals and have the necessary tools to develop a comprehensive plan for tackling cyber threats.
NSBA supports the MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act since it seeks to ensure the protection and security of online data and financials of small businesses across the nation through a combined effort of NIST and existing federal agencies dealing with the small business cyber-attacks. For these reasons, NSBA recently sent a letter of support for the MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act, click here to view the letter.