Bipartisan legislation introduced in the House Jan. 24 would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish a free cybersecurity marketplace for small businesses to purchase services from security vendors.

The legislation directs SBA to work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish a program that would educate small businesses about the cybersecurity services available to them and create a user-friendly website where small business can pool together resources to purchase cyber services. Through the collaborative marketplace, small businesses also would be able to negotiate lower prices for cybersecurity services.

Rep. Abby Finkenauer’s, D-Iowa, Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity Usage to Reach Every (SECURE) Small Business Act is a companion bill to legislation introduced by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., earlier this month.  The House bill is also sponsored by Rep. John Joyce, R-Penn.

“Small businesses … [are] often seen as easy targets by cyber criminals and don’t realize it until it’s too late,” Finkenauer said. “This is a real and serious problem that needs to be addressed. The tools are there to make sure business have a strong defense — it’s now about improving access to those tools.”

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.