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U.S. House Small Business Committee holds hearing on cybersecurity

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 06:00
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The U.S. House Committee on Small Business held a hearing last week titled, “Small Business Cybersecurity: Federal Resources and Coordination.” The hearing addressed the federal government’s role in equipping small businesses to defend themselves against cyber threats.

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Due to the changing nature of commerce and an increased reliance on internet-based tools such as social media, mobile services, cloud data storage and video conferencing, businesses are more vulnerable to cyber threats than ever before.

Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, committee chairman, stressed the gravity of the issue saying, “A cyber attack can have serious consequences, not only for small businesses, but also their customers, employees and business partners. Sixty percent of small businesses that fall victim to a cyber attack close up shop within six months. A 2014 survey from the National Small Business Association estimated the average cost of a cyber attack on a small business to be over $32,000.”

In recent years, federal agencies have begun offering resources to small businesses to ensure they have the necessary tools to develop stronger information security and cybersecurity systems. During Wednesday’s hearing, members discussed how best to coordinate small business resources across agencies while making them more accessible to the public.

Current, published works include the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) “Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals,” and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) “Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0.” The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also offers guides to address data breaches and best practices for protecting consumers’ personal information.

Members and witnesses stressed the necessity for a dynamic strategy to respond to cyber threats. However, they also acknowledged the difficulty of maintaining an up-to-date system due to the constantly changing environment of the cyber world. Ranking member Nydia M. Velázquez, D-N.Y., identified the need for a centralized resource for small-business guidance that can keep pace with the evolving threats and called for a regular report on the potential dangers for both businesses and consumers.

The hearing’s witnesses included:

  • Maureen K. Ohlhausen, acting chairman, Federal Trade Commission
  • Charles H. Romine, Ph.D., director Information Technology Laboratory, NIST
  • Charles Rowe, president and CEO, America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
  • Jim Mooney, president and CEO, Chevron Federal Credit Union Cybersecurity Committee Chair (testifying on behalf of the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions)

In her written testimony Ohlhausen said, “The Commission continues to reiterate its longstanding, bipartisan call for comprehensive data security legislation that would (1) strengthen its existing data security authority and (2) require companies, in appropriate circumstances, to provide notification to consumers when there is a security breach.

“Reasonable security practices are critical to preventing data breaches and protecting consumers from identity theft and other harm. Where breaches occur, notifying consumers helps them protect themselves from any harm that is likely to be caused by the misuse of their data.”

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry.

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry.

ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. To take advantage of the many benefits of membership in ASA, please visit www.ASAshop.org or call (817) 514-2900.

For additional information about ASA, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

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