Maui Time

Small hands for small business: Schatz gets Trump’s autograph

Hawai‘i’s U.S. Senator Brian Schatz continues to make changes in Washington; Schatz’s bill to help small business fight cybersecurity was signed into law Aug. 14 by Donald Trump.

Small businesses are a pillar of the American economy but these businesses are major targets for cyberattacks, said a spokesperson from Schatz’ office. The new legislation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Small Business Cybersecurity Act, will provide consistent resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.

“As businesses rely more and more on the internet to run efficiently and reach more customers, they will continue to be vulnerable to cyberattacks,” said Senator Schatz, lead Democrat on the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. “But while big businesses have the resources to protect themselves, small businesses do not, and that’s exactly what makes them an easy target for hackers. This new law will give small businesses the tools to firm up their cybersecurity infrastructure and fight online attacks.”

The Senate had unanimously passed the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act in 2014, which codified the industry-led process for the 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 United States, additional coordinated resources are necessary to improve the ability of small businesses to use the framework, according to Schatz office. The legislation, formerly known as 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.

In addition to Schatz and co-author James Risch (R-ID), co-sponsors of the bill include U.S. Senators John Thune (R-SD), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Photo courtesy of flickr/ricky-li