Jun 18, 2020
Press Release

On June 18, Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following statements on introducing bipartisan legislation to improve cybersecurity assistance for small manufacturers in the defense supply chain:

“This legislation will further develop the Department of Defense’s (DOD) ongoing work with Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers. DOD is increasingly concerned about cyber vulnerabilities in the defense supply chain, specifically among small- and medium-sized manufacturers,” Congressman Wilson said. "This bill will provide much-needed assistance to small defense manufacturers with cyber compliance and enhance cybersecurity throughout our defense supply chain by expanding DOD’s cyber initiatives with MEP Centers. The MEP National Network is uniquely positioned to assist the Department to help strengthen our national defense. I am grateful to introduce this legislation with Congressman Jimmy Panetta.”

“Cyber vulnerabilities in the defense supply chain pose a significant threat to U.S. national security. MEP Centers, public-private partnerships located in all 50 states, are uniquely positioned to assist small businesses with cybersecurity requirements and have worked closely with the Pentagon to bolster defense supply chain resiliency,” Congressman Panetta said.  “My bipartisan legislation will enhance the essential work of MEP Centers so they may continue to provide cybersecurity assistance to small manufacturers as they support national defense.”

Additional information on the Small Manufacturer Cybersecurity Enhancement Act:

  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense, acting through the Office of Economic Adjustment, to provide grants to Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers for cybersecurity services to small defense manufacturers.
  • Grants may be used to promote awareness, assessment, evaluation, preparation, and implementation of cybersecurity services; achieve compliance with Department of Defense cybersecurity requirements; and hire trained personnel.