The Ripon Advance: Small Business Cyber Security Training Act sponsored by Garbarino

U.S. Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) on July 19 sponsored a bipartisan bill that aims to help America’s small businesses prepare for cyberattacks.

“Cyberattacks are ramping up against everything from our critical infrastructure to schools and small businesses and we must do more to prepare for and mitigate against these attacks,” Rep. Garbarino said on Monday.

The Small Business Cyber Security Training Act, H.R. 4515, which Rep. Garbarino introduced with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), would amend the Small Business Act to require cyber certification for Small Business Development Center (SBDC) counselors, according to the congressional record bill summary.

SBDCs are non-federal resource partners that operate in cooperation with the Small Business Administration (SBA), according to Rep. Garbarino’s staff, which said the SBDC program is the largest small businesses assistance program with locations in every state providing services at no or low cost to small businesses.

“As both a member of the House Small Business Committee and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Cybersecurity Subcommittee, I have seen how difficult it is for small businesses to arm themselves against these kinds of attacks due to resource constraints,” said Rep. Garbarino. “It is my hope that this bipartisan legislation will be an impactful first step to getting small businesses the training they need to protect themselves from cyber criminals.”

If enacted, H.R. 4515 also would authorize the SBA to reimburse SBDCs for employee certification costs up to $350,000 per fiscal year, according to a bill summary provided by the congressman’s staff, and would amend the Small Business Act to utilize existing federal resources to cover the reimbursement costs.

“Small businesses often don’t have the resources needed to fight cyber security threats on their own, and our bill would help them to do that,” added Rep. Evans.

H.R. 4515 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Small Business Committee.