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This senator wants to set aside millions to train small businesses in cybersecurity

Senator Maggie Hassan (DN.H.) speaks at the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in Washington, Aug. 6, 2020. Hassan’s new bill, the Small Business Cybersecurity Act, would secure millions of dollars in federal grants for small business development centers to provide a variety of local cybersecurity services. (Photo by Toni Sandys/Pool via Getty Images)

A new Senate bill would send millions of dollars in grants to the Small Business Center to train cybersecurity workers and conduct tests and reviews of business IT environments.

The Small Business Cybersecurity Act, introduced this week by Sen. Maggie Hassan (DN.H.), authorizes $20 million in 2023 and $20 million each year thereafter to the Small Business Administration, granting the Small Business Administration to award non-competitive grants for the development of According to a copy of the bill obtained by SC Media, centers across the country will fund various cybersecurity programs and resources for small businesses.

These services include employee cybersecurity training, tabletop exercises, policy, plan and procedure reviews, penetration testing services, cybersecurity consultancy services, and more.

In a statement, Hassan said the bill was inspired in part by a program offered by the New Hampshire Center for Small Business Development, which includes a cybersecurity framework and a partnership with business advisors on cybersecurity risks. One-on-one consulting.

“I encourage my colleagues to pass this bill so small business development centers in New Hampshire and across the country can continue to work to protect small businesses from cyberattacks and help them thrive.” Hassan said.

Small businesses are among the most vulnerable targets for malicious hackers, ransomware groups, and other cybercriminal groups. An Intuit survey of more than 2,000 small businesses published in April found that 42% of organizations reported having already experienced a cybersecurity breach, with one in five They cited attacks as the number one threat to their business.

They make up an important part of the technology supply chain, but often lack the financial resources and expertise to dedicate themselves to cybersecurity, two areas the bill seeks to address. These realities often thwart the federal government’s massive efforts to raise cybersecurity baseline levels across the country. Many such programs require significant investments in human and technical capital.

Hassan’s bill limits the amount of subsidies that individual states can draw, depending on the size determined by SBA administrators. dollars, large states are capped at $400,000.