Reps. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., and William Timmons, R-S.C., have reintroduced bipartisan and bicameral legislation that aims to help improve the cybersecurity of local governments and small organizations.

The Improving Cybersecurity of Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Local Governments Act would direct the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) to publish recommendations that small businesses, nonprofits, and local governments may employ to improve their cybersecurity.

“Small businesses, small nonprofits, and small local governments can’t afford to hire cybersecurity professionals, but they are still vulnerable to debilitating cyberattacks,” said Rep. Eshoo in a press release.

“As a small business owner, I know the threats that come with operating in the ever-changing cyber landscape,” said Rep. Timmons. “Our bill will help these institutions who are increasingly becoming the targets of cyber-attacks from bad actors foreign and domestic, and I am proud to join Rep. Eshoo in this effort.”

The Improving Cybersecurity of Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Local Governments Act would recommend best practices, protocols, and systems that organizations can implement to prevent cyberattacks and keep their data secure. Under this legislation, CISA would issue guidance that documents and promotes evidence-based cybersecurity policies and controls for small organizations.

Additionally, the measure would require CISA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Minority Business Development Agency to promote cybersecurity guidance. It also would require the Secretary of Commerce to submit to Congress a report describing methods to incentivize small organizations to improve their cybersecurity. Finally, it would require the SBA to report on the state of small business cybersecurity every two years.

“I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral bill to require Federal agencies to recommend easy-to-understand and evidence-based recommendations that small organizations can adopt to improve their cybersecurity and protect everyone they serve,” Rep. Eshoo said.

Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.