Bipartisan Bill to Promote Cybersecurity Strength for Small Businesses

These days, it seems like politicians just can't work together. But every now and then an issue is so important that it transcends partisan politics - in this case, that issue is cybersecurity.

Here at CyberPolicy, we recognize the importance of digital defenses for small and medium businesses. It's for this reason that we offer cyber insurance policies for companies like yours.

Did you know that SMBs account for more than half of all U.S. sales and jobs? As such, the health and prosperity of small businesses is paramount to the health of our national economy. Yet, cyber crooks and hackers work to disrupt SMBs, believing them to be easy targets for scams and data breaches.

In fact, 48 percent of cyberattacks are specifically aimed at small businesses; and 60 percent of organizations victimized by an attack close within six month of an incident!

"America's small businesses are the backbone of our economy. As an owner of a multi-generational small business, I understand the importance of equipping and empowering small businesses to tackle challenges so they can grow and prosper," says Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) who introduced legislation to protect small and medium businesses.

The new bill would require the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to publish guidance on identifying, assessing, managing and reducing risks for small businesses.

The use of such guidance would be voluntary, but supports public-private partnership to reduce risks to critical infrastructure; while simultaneously calling for the development of off-the-shelf technologies and tools to reduce the cyber defense cost for SMBs.

Of course, businesses aren't the only ones susceptible to cybercrime. Representatives Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), along with Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Mark Warner (D-VA), introduced the State Cyber Resiliency Act which would administer local, state and tribe grants for cybersecurity planning and implementation.

"Despite the velocity of the threat, 80 percent of states lack funding to develop sufficient cybersecurity," says Warner.

While greater attention has been paid to digital incursion following Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, local and state governments are increasingly finding themselves the targets of cybercriminals. Then again, Arizona and Illinois each had voter databases hacked in attacks attributed to Russia!

As National League of Cities President Matt Zone says, "Cities need federal support to provide local governments with the tools and resources needed to protect their citizens and serve them best."

In much the same way, consumers and employees need businesses to handle and protect sensitive data. If you want to keep your organization safe, remember to:

  • Educate your employees about online threats and how to report them.
  • Encourage robust password protocol.
  • Employ a network firewall to insulate internal data transfers.
  • Only store data in an encrypted cloud, on-premise database or protected external drive.
  • Avoid suspicious emails, links, attachments or software downloads, as these can conceal malicious software or phishing scams.

Finally, you'll want to invest in a cyber insurance policy to mitigate the financially damaging effect of digital incursion. Visit CyberPolicy for your free quote today!

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