WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) lauded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announcement today that the Maryland Department of Commerce has been awarded $930,155 to implement a pilot program to protect the state’s small businesses from cyberthreats.
The SBA awarded the funds through the Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program, which was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that Congress enacted last year. The grant will allow the Maryland Department of Commerce to provide training, counseling, remediation, and other tailored cybersecurity services to small businesses across the state.
“As ransomware and other cyberattacks become more prevalent, Senate Democrats and the Biden Administration are taking action to expand access to cybersecurity resources for small businesses,” Senator Cardin said. “This grant was created by the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and it will give the State of Maryland the resources necessary to help small businesses identify their vulnerabilities and fortify their defenses against cyberthreats.”
“Maryland’s small business community is a core driver of our state’s economy, and we need to do everything we can to help them succeed. That’s why the historic infrastructure modernization law we passed includes this measure to bolster their cybersecurity systems in the face of increasingly complex online threats. This investment is going to help protect Maryland small businesses’ most important assets: their employees and customers,” said Senator Van Hollen.
Cyberattacks are a growing threat to small businesses. Nearly 9-in-10 small business owners surveyed by the SBA reported that their business was vulnerable to a cyberattack.
Small businesses are attractive targets because they have information that cybercriminals want, but they lack the resources to protect themselves from cyberthreats. These cybercrimes are costly. The Federal Bureau of Investigations estimates that in 2021, cybercrimes cost small businesses $2.4 billion.