In the wake of the recent Equifax data breach, the United States House of Representatives recently passed legislation that requires the federal government to assist small businesses in guarding against cyber-attacks by providing them with tools to do so. The bill, entitled the “NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act of 2017,” follows President Trump’s recent executive order requiring federal agencies to comply with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (“NIST”) guidance.
Specifically, the bill requires that the NIST publish and disseminate guidance to small businesses informing them of helpful resources to bolster their cybersecurity. In September, a similar legislation was offered by Senators Jim Risch and Brian Schatz, and was also passed. The executive order and legislation are positive indicators that the federal government is taking cyber-threats more seriously, and assisting private businesses in being proactive with their defense. Time will only tell if such efforts will positively impact on the cybersecurity landscape.