Ransomware has become a menace that strikes companies and individuals alike, but researchers have offered tantalizing evidence that we may soon be able to stop it before it does any damage.
The most rapidly growing category of malware is cryptographic ransomware, software that infects a computer through the same means as other malicious software, and then quietly scrambles users’ files, making them unreadable. By the time victims discover the problem, the malware explains to them they have to pay a fee for the encryption key that will make their files usable again.
American small businesses are under cyberattack like never before. By one estimate, three out of every five cyberattacks now target small businesses. With America’s 28 million small businesses making up 54 percent of annual sales in the U.S., the frequency of such attacks and the high costs they create for small businesses could have ripple effects throughout our economy.
Small businesses are often not prepared to prevent cyberattacks or easily recover from the damages of successful intrusions. A recent report by Internet security firm McAfee found that 90 percent of small businesses do not use updated protocols for protecting sensitive consumer information and a separate study determined that 83 percent of small businesses do not have a cybersecurity plan.
The Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act addresses these problems by providing much-needed support to small businesses. It leverages existing Federal programs as well as the expertise of the more than 900 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) around the country to streamline cyber support for small businesses. In particular, it updates the Small Business Act and Homeland Security Act to authorize and direct SBDCs to offer, to the extent practicable, cyber support to small businesses in accordance with an SBDC Cyber Strategy, which is to be developed jointly by DHS and the Small Business Administration. This strategy will provide guidance to SBDCs on how they can leverage existing Federal resources to provide better access to much-needed cyber support services.
Read H.R.5064 - Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act of 2016