House Small Business Committee Examines Cybersecurity

Date: January 08, 2016

Committee Concerned Small Business Administration Not Safeguarding Data

The Hill reported that during a Wednesday hearing of the House Small Business Committee, Republicans on the committee expressed concern “that the Small Business Administration (SBA) is not adequately safeguarding sensitive data.” Committee chairman Steve Chabot “referenced a September Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the SBA has not implemented more than 30 inspector general recommendations related to IT security.” The report “report found that despite its failure to fully implement many of the IG’s recommendations, the SBA has increased its emphasis on cybersecurity, establishing policies to consolidate the number of its data centers and manage software licenses for IT investments.” However, contrary to Office of Management and Budget guidance, “SBA has not conducted regular reviews of its operational IT investments to ensure that they continue to meet agency needs.” In a separate story on the hearing, The Hill reported that House lawmakers pushed to hold the Small Business Administration to a deadline regarding the resolution of the agency’s cybersecurity concerns. House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot, addressing SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, stated that, “I’d like your commitment to resolving outstanding [Government Accountability Office] recommendations by June 30 and having our staff briefed on that process on a monthly basis.” In response, Contreras-Sweet reportedly agreed to the monthly reports but declined to submit to the proposed deadline.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for organizations large and small, and small businesses have differing security needs than large government organizations. However, it is worrisome that the government agency tasked with assisting small businesses may itself be in need of a security overhaul. If the SBA were to have its security compromised, small businesses it has worked with could also be affected. This is a reminder for businesses and agencies of all sides to strengthen their security measures.

Additional Reading

Federal Computer Week also covered the story.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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