Get Started: Internet security bill may aid small businesses
Small businesses would get more information from the government about internet security under a bill that has passed the U.S. House.
The Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act of 2016, which now goes to the Senate, calls on the Small Business Administration and Department of Homeland Security to create a strategy to increase business owners' awareness of internet attacks. They would also learn about the need to make their companies more secure from hackers, phishing attacks and other such threats. The nearly 1,000 Small Business Development Centers that provide training and counseling to small companies would become a resource for education about internet security.
Small businesses are increasingly vulnerable to such attacks, which include having bank accounts hacked, websites and computer systems invaded and data compromised or stolen. While all businesses and individuals can be targets, small companies in general are more at risk; they usually don't have technology departments or the financial resources to get some of the protections that larger businesses have.
The SBA has tips about internet security on its website, tinyurl.com/z8ronta . The Federal Communications Commission has information as well at www.fcc.gov/general/cybersecurity-small-business
It's not known when the Senate will be taking up the bill, which has support from both parties. Congress is expected to be in recess for much of October, returning for what's known as the lame duck session after the Nov. 8 elections.
Many people who want to run their own businesses decide to buy a franchise rather than start a company from scratch. Franchises come with ready-made business and marketing plans. SCORE, which offers free counseling to small business owners, is sponsoring an online seminar about franchising on Tuesday, October 11 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Learn more and register at tinyurl.com/huw6h4y
© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.