A Quick Guide to the Cybersecurity Bill Passed by the U.S. Senate

October 28, 2015

Larry Greenemeier

In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses. - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf
In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses. - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf

Yesterday, after more than a year of bickering, stalling and revising, the Senate passed its most significant cybersecurity bill to date 74–21. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is a controversial measure to encourage businesses and government agencies to share information related to malicious hackers and their methods.

Government and industry have talked about such information sharing for more than a decade. The House of Representatives passed a precursor to CISA—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)—in 2013, but the bill’s progress stopped when Pres. Barack Obama threatened a veto due to a lack of privacy protections. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced the first version of CISA in July 2014, but the bill didn’t gain traction until she and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) reintroduced the legislation this past March. High-profile cybersecurity breaches at Sony Pictures, Home Depot, the Office of Personnel Management and dozens of other organizations within the past year alone helped CISA make its way to the Senate floor.

CISA’s problem had been the liability and privacy concerns that companies expose themselves to when they start handing data—customer records in particular—to the government. The bill limits companies’ liability in lawsuits, but the Senate voted down measures that would have required businesses and government agencies to at least try to scrub records of data that could be used to identify individuals.

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SBA Unveils Small Business Cybersecurity Tools
Credit: Mark Van Scyoc

In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses.

In the wake of high-profile data breaches, many businesses are eager to implement a more robust cybersecurity strategy. The SBA's cybersecurity page, launched earlier this month during the "Cybersecurity at Work" week, offers advice and tools for small business owners who are seeking to better protect both their own data and their customers' data. In 2013, 44 percent of the 800 small business owners surveyed reported having experienced a cyberattack that resulted in an average cost of nearly $9,000, according to a report by the National Small Business Association.

"Cybersecurity is one of our nation's most pressing national security priorities, and America's 28 million small businesses, which create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., are especially at risk," SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a statement announcing the Web page. "Small employers are quickly becoming a larger target for criminals looking to access sensitive data because small businesses typically have limited resources for information systems security. In an effort to combat cyberattacks against small businesses, the SBA's online tools will help employers identify information security vulnerabilities that put their companies at risk."

- See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf
In honor of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new Web page dedicated to promoting cybersecurity for small businesses. - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8491-sba-unveils-small-business-cybersecurity-tools.html#sthash.HVndjn45.dpuf