U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today joined Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), James Risch (R-Idaho), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in introducing the Making Available Information Now to Strengthen Trust and Resilience and Enhance Enterprise Technology (MAIN STREET) Cybersecurity Act. The bill would provide a consistent set of resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.
Small businesses are a pillar of the American economy and make up more than half of all jobs in the United States. But these businesses have also become a major target for cyberattacks. These attacks can be so harmful to revenues that the National Cybersecurity Alliance has found 60 percent of these small businesses are forced to close following an attack.
“Cyberattacks can have catastrophic effects on small businesses and their customers,” said Thune. “This legislation offers important resources, specifically meeting the unique needs of small businesses, to help them guard sensitive data and systems from thieves and hackers.”
In 2014, the Senate unanimously passed Thune’s Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, which codified the industry-led process for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, a comprehensive voluntary guide for organizations and businesses to better manage and reduce cybersecurity risks. While this framework continues to play a key role in improving the cyber resilience of the United States, additional coordinated resources may be necessary to improve the ability of small businesses to use it. The MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act, which is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will ensure NIST considers the needs of small businesses as it updates the framework and provide simplified, consistent resources based on the NIST framework specifically for small businesses.