[ISN] Bill aimed at small-biz cybersecurity

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Wed Jun 11 2008 - 01:02:51 PDT


By Mary Mosquera
June 10, 2008

Lawmakers have introduced legislation to help protect small businesses 
from computer hackers and information security breaches.

On June 9, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) joined 
Reps. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) and Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) in 
introducing versions of the Small Business Information Security Act of 
2008 in both houses of Congress.

The measures would create a Small Business Information Security Task 
Force at the Small Business Administration. The task force's goal would 
be to help small firms understand and effectively respond to information 
security vulnerabilities, said Nick Christiansen, a spokesman for the 
Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

Small businesses account for half of the country's economy and create 
two-thirds of all new jobs, said Kerry, the committee's chairman.

"But we also must make sure that small businesses are armed to protect 
themselves and their customers against hackers seeking financial and 
personal data," he said. "Giving small businesses the tools to protect 
sensitive information helps to strengthen our broader economy as well."

Establishing such a task force would be a step toward safeguarding small 
companies and their customers, said Snowe, ranking member of the 
committee. Many small businesses experience security breaches, do not 
automatically scan e-mail messages for viruses, do not use encryption to 
protect wireless networks and do not have an information security plan, 
she added.

The task force would:

    * Identify information security concerns and services to address 
      those concerns.

    * Make recommendations to help SBA better assist small businesses in 
      understanding cybersecurity issues and identifying resources to 
      help meet those challenges.

    * Promote current programs and services that would help small 
      businesses protect their customers. information.

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