WRNJ: Gottheimer helps introduce bipartisan bill to boost cyber defenses of small businesses amid heightened threat from Russia

Feb 26, 2022
In the News

More from WRNJ: Gottheimer helps introduce bipartisan bill to boost cyber defenses of small businesses amid heightened threat from Russia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Friday helped lead the introduction of new bipartisan legislation — H.R. 6812, the Small Business Cybersecurity Assistance Pilot Program Act — amidst U.S. officials warning of potential Russian cyberattacks stemming from the Ukrainian invasion.

Administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Cybersecurity Assistance Pilot Program would provide small businesses with access to critical cybersecurity tools.

Specifically, the bipartisan legislation authorizes federal investment for the Cybersecurity Assistance Pilot Program, which is a new federal grant program created for state governments to help emerging small businesses develop their cybersecurity infrastructure. The Small Business Cybersecurity Assistance Pilot Program Act will strengthen this important grant program and require the SBA to report on how the grant investment is used and to identify the current, most pressing cybersecurity needs of small businesses.

“Currently, the safety and security of our nation, our financial systems, and our businesses are at a critical juncture,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), the House Financial Services Committee Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy. “We’re facing rapidly evolving foreign and domestic threats, as well as a surge of hacking and cybersecurity attacks. We must protect the American people and our small businesses from all those who wish to do us harm, from here at home and abroad. With this bipartisan legislation we’re introducing today, we’re helping ensure our small businesses have the critical tools they need to boost their cybersecurity.”

Recently, the FBI called on the American private sector to be prepared for potential state-sponsored cyberattacks to be launched by Russia as the security situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate. Russia has previously used cyberattacks to cripple U.S. entities, including as recently as 2020 when Russian hackers infiltrated several government agencies after they compromised software from SolarWinds, an IT management software company based in Texas. In total, the breach affected 18,000 public and private sector users of SolarWinds, including the U.S. Treasury Department, as well as the Energy and Commerce Departments, and other government agencies.

Gottheimer joined with Representatives Dave Joyce (OH-14), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), and Joe Morelle (NY-25) to introduce this bipartisan bill.

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