Reps. Fitzpatrick, Schneider, Crow Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Enhance Cybersecurity of Small Businesses

Bill would provide loan guarantees for the acquisition of cybersecurity technology and services by eligible small businesses.

October 31, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), and Jason Crow (D-CO) introduced legislation to better protect America’s small businesses, and their operational and customer information, from cyberattack. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.

H.R.4915, the Small Business Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, creates a loan guarantee that would allow small businesses to acquire cybersecurity technology and services.

“As a former FBI Special Agent, I understand that cybersecurity is a complex and serious national and economic security issue that our country will continue face over the decades to come. As such, we need to take action now to ensure we’re protecting our nation’s infrastructure and businesses,” said Fitzpatrick. “This bipartisan legislation is a crucial step toward ensuring small businesses in our communities have the tools and training to protect themselves, and their customers, from cyberattacks.”

"Small businesses face a real and growing danger from cyberattacks, and we need to do more to help them defend against these threats,” said Schneider. “Hacking and security breaches hurt not just the targeted businesses but also put our personal information and data at risk. The bipartisan Small Business Cybersecurity Enhancement Act would help more small businesses take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their customers.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and, as a result, have increasingly become the target of hostile actors. It is imperative that we stay nimble in responding to cyberattacks and provide our small businesses with the tools they need to bolster their own cybersecurity and protect themselves from threats,” said Crow. This is a strong piece of bipartisan legislation that will ensure small businesses will have the resources they need to keep them and their customers protected and I’m proud to work with Representatives Schneider and Fitzpatrick in making sure we continue to serve America’s small businesses.”

In their 2015 Year-End Economic Report, the National Small Business Association noted that “42 percent of small businesses report they have been the victim of a cyber-attack.” The average loss to a business whose banking account was compromised by a cyberattack was more than $32,000.

Under the legislation, small businesses are defined as those who have 100 or fewer employees The loan guarantee program would add no additional cost to the taxpayer.

The full text of the Small Business Cybersecurity Enhancement Act is available here.