Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), along with Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), introduced legislation to help protect small businesses from expensive data breaches and cyber-attacks. The SECURE Small Business Act would establish a cooperative at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help small businesses access information on data protection best-practices and enable them to purchase cybersecurity products together at lower prices. Representatives Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa-01) and John Joyce (R-Penn.-12) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The number of cyber-attacks and data breaches has risen dramatically across the country in recent years,” said Cortez Masto. “Unfortunately, small businesses that don’t have the resources to purchase expensive, sophisticated products often bear the brunt of these attacks that leave their customers at risk. I’m proud to cosponsor legislation that will ease the burden on Nevada’s small business owners by allowing them to pool together to negotiate cheaper prices and providing them with the resources they need to grow their businesses and keep their customers’ data safe.”
“The security of our nation’s small business community is under the constant and growing threat of cyber-attacks,” said Senator Rosen. “We must provide small businesses with the resources they need to counter attacks that puts our businesses and economy in jeopardy. The bipartisan SECURE Small Business Act will give our businesses the necessary tools to prevent hackers from obtaining customers’ data and help avert data-breaches. I will continue to support forward-thinking legislation that protects our nation’s cyber-security and economy.”
“When putting together an annual budget, many small businesses struggle to afford expensive cybersecurity products designed to keep their business and customer data secure. Thus, small businesses are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks from malign actors both here and abroad,” Senator Risch said. “Idaho businesses are not immune, so we are taking action. To address the problems of affordability and better safeguard data, the SECURE Small Business Act will allow small businesses to band together to buy protective cybersecurity products at a reduced cost. This is a common-sense bill that will equip small business owners with the resources they need to keep Idaho’s businesses and customers safe.”
According to a recent study, 61 percent of data breach victims are small businesses, many of which don’t have access to affordable data protection resources or cybersecurity information. Currently, the average data breach costs a small business owner between $84,000 – $148,000, and over 60% of small businesses impacted will go out of business within six months of a breach.
The SECURE Small Business Act would address this problem by establishing a cooperative at the Small Business Administration (SBA), in coordination with the National Institutes for Standards and Technology, to help small businesses access data protection resources and purchase affordable cyber-security products, services and insurance together. Specifically the co-op would:
- Provide small businesses with recommendations based on their industry.
- Allow multiple small businesses to pool together to leverage lower prices from cybersecurity vendors and establish a website for small businesses and vendors to make these agreements.