U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) today announced that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 will include their bipartisan provision that enables the U.S. Small Business Administration's Small Business Development Centers to work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help small businesses develop and enhance their cyber security infrastructure, cyber threat awareness, and cyber training programs for employees.
"So much of our daily lives are digitized and dependent on the internet and information technology that the importance of cyber security cannot be understated. Small businesses, in particular, are vulnerable and often don't have the resources necessary to protect their businesses and customers from cyber threats," said Senator Vitter. "Fortunately, I was able to include language in the NDAA that will help small businesses plan for and protect against cyber security attacks. Considering the major impact small businesses have on our nation's economy, passing this legislation is a promising step toward addressing their cyber-related vulnerabilities."
"It is critical that small businesses are equipped with necessary tools to protect their company and their customers from ever-evolving cyber threats," said Senator Peters. "By empowering Small Business Development Centers that are on the ground working directly with small business and bolstering coordination between agencies, we can ensure that small businesses are better prepared to secure sensitive information while focusing on economic growth and supporting their communities. I am pleased this bill has been included in the National Defense Authorization Act, and I urge Congress to swiftly consider this critical defense legislation."
Vitter has been a vocal advocate to increase cyber security protections for several years, and as Small Business Committee Chairman, Vitter has been a leader in the fight to improve cyber security infrastructure and preparedness for small businesses. Earlier this year, Senators Vitter and Peters introduced the Small Business Cyber Security Improvements Act of 2016, which was favorably reported out of the Committee in June