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BizReport : Internet : May 08, 2017


Expert: What the new SMB cybersecurity bill means

The small business cybersecurity bill ---- recently passed the senate committee. This new cybersecurity bill increases resources to help small businesses protect themselves from data breaches and cyber attacks. What can SMBs expect from it?

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What are the implications of the new cybersecurity bill for SMBs?

John Swanciger, CEO, Manta: Small business owners should be thrilled about the new cybersecurity bill that just passed the Senate Commerce Committee because it means more resources to learn about and implement cybersecurity standards. The bill would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to include small businesses when updating its cybersecurity framework and provide resources for small business owners who decide to model new initiatives around that framework. Small businesses are an invaluable segment of the U.S. economy, so making sure they aren't susceptible to cyberattacks is one of the government's key priorities. If this new bill is signed into law, small business owners will have a more robust resource to help them elevate their cybersecurity systems and decrease the possibility of a cyberattack.

Kristina: Your recent poll found only 12% of surveyed SMBs have been the victim of a cyber attack. Was this surprising to you?

John: We were surprised to see that so few small businesses have been the victim of a cyberattack. On the other hand, many small businesses don't hold large amounts of data, which makes them less of a target. That said, it's still important for all small business owners to protect the data they do hold, including payroll and employee information, customer financial information, and vendor terms and agreements. A data breach is bad for business and worse for reputations, so keeping customer and company information safe should be a top priority.

Kristina: Do SMBs need to be more diligent, at this point, with their cybersecurity?

John: In our poll we found that over 30 percent of small business owners don't have IT security measures in place, meaning one in three small business owners need to implement updated security processes immediately. There can be a false sense of security for many small businesses that think because they aren't enterprise-sized corporations, they aren't a target -- but this simply isn't true. Every business, no matter the size, should be diligent about protecting their data.

Kristina: Can small businesses, at this point, reassure customers that their information will remain private?

John: The fact that 88 percent of small businesses surveyed have never experienced a cyber attack is comforting. But the best way to ensure customers that their data is safe is to implement and publicize new security rules and processes. Implement EMV chip readers, be diligent in training employees on IT safety strategies, make sure all virus software is updated and turned on, take advantage of any and all resources provided by the government to improve your company's online safety, and lastly, stay aware of changes in the space. If you are doing all of the above, that is the most you can do to give your customers the best data security possible.

Tags: Manta, small business cybersecurity bill, SMB tips, SMB trends










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