A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced the Making Available Information Now to Strengthen Trust and Resilience and Enhance Enterprise Technology (MAIN STREET) Cybersecurity Act. The new legislation will provide a consistent set of resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.
The lawmakers include Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), James Risch (R-Idaho), , John Thune (R-S.D.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but unfortunately that’s exactly what makes them a prime target for hackers. These cyberattacks not only leave American consumers exposed, they can be so harmful to businesses that recovering from an attack can often times force them out of business,” said Senator Schatz. “The MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act will give small businesses the tools to firm up their cybersecurity infrastructure and fight online attacks.”
Small businesses drive our economy and help create jobs on Main Streets across America. As cyber-attacks become more commonplace, it is critical that we help them protect their data from very real and imminent threats,” said Senator Cantwell. “By creating a simple, voluntary cybersecurity framework for small businesses, the MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act will help them protect their data, while focusing on what they do best: serving their customers and creating jobs.”
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 United States, 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.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pleased to support the MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act. Information and communications technology have made businesses more innovative, agile, and productive than ever, but cybersecurity threats have created challenges for organizations that may lack the resources to adequately address them. Enhancements to America’s information security, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, will help drive growth in our economy,” said Ann M. Beauchesne, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Security & Emergency Preparedness Department.