September 17, 2020

Young, Rosen Introduce Bipartisan Small Manufacturer Cybersecurity Enhancement Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) announced their introduction of the Small Manufacturer Cybersecurity Enhancement Act. This bipartisan legislation would authorize the Department of Defense to provide financial assistance to Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers for cybersecurity services to help small manufacturers in the defense supply chain. Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) earlier this year.

 

“America’s critical defense industrial base is under a constant cyber threat from our adversaries, and the burden of defending against these threats is heaviest on small businesses,” said Senator Young. “I’m proud to support this legislation to enable Indiana businesses in the defense supply chain, which employ tens of thousands of Hoosiers, to meet needed cybersecurity requirements and lower barriers of entry for aspiring industry leaders from across the state. In Indiana, this bill will allow the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to build upon the valuable work it is already doing to bring more small businesses into compliance with federal cybersecurity standards.”

 

“Cyber vulnerabilities in the defense supply chain, especially for small manufacturers, are a growing national security threat,” said Senator Rosen. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that would provide resources so that defense manufacturers can protect themselves from the threat of cyber attacks. I will continue working in Congress to ensure that our businesses and the United States Government are prepared to address current and future cyber threats.”

 

“Cybersecurity threats to our defense supply chain continue to be a national security issue, given the thousands of manufacturing firms involved,” said Carrie Hines, President and CEO of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition. “This bill will enhance the Department of Defense’s continued work with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network. MEP is the only national program equipped to provide the cybersecurity and technical assistance services these defense suppliers require, especially the small manufacturers that make up a substantial portion of the national defense industrial base. The American Small Manufacturers Coalition is grateful for the leadership of Senators Rosen and Young for introducing this bill. It will undoubtedly secure and strengthen the country’s national defense industrial base.”

 

The Small Manufacturer Cybersecurity Enhancement Act authorizes the Department of Defense to provide financial assistance to Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers for cybersecurity services to help small manufacturers in the defense supply chain. This assistance can be used to promote awareness, assessment, evaluation, preparation, and implementation of cybersecurity services; achieve compliance with cybersecurity requirements; and hire trained personnel. This provision was included in both the House and Senate FY21 NDAA bills.