The Senate approved a legislation Thursday that would oblige the federal government to provide more tools to small businesses to secure their networks from cyber threats, The Hill reports.
The legislation proposed by Sens. James Risch and Brian Schatz orders the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to release and disseminate resources to small businesses that decide to use the cybersecurity framework created by the institute.
NIST, a standards laboratory under the Department of Commerce, creates and updates a cybersecurity framework for public and private entities.
Both Risch and Schatz praised bill’s approval, mentioning the massive Equifax data breach earlier this month as the most recent reminder of stark cyber threats to businesses and other organizations.
“All too often, these kinds of attacks on businesses—big and small—leave Americans exposed. That’s why we wrote this legislation so that American small businesses have the tools they need to beef up their cybersecurity and prepare to fight back,” Schatz stated.
Risch said the legislation “will help America’s small business owners safeguard against cyber threats and better position them to protect their assets, customers, and employees.”
“The recent Equifax hack is the latest example of the many vulnerabilities that exist and why we must take urgent, proactive steps to prevent cyber-attacks on small businesses in addition to individuals,” Risch said.