One Step Closer to Becoming Cybersmart

Nancy Libersky, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration

Nancy Libersky, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration

As enterprises move toward newer, better technologies, the rate at which security risks surface the organization is alarming. These risks pertain to a plethora of arenas, ranging from BYOD devices to backend servers, and more. It is therefore crucial for stakeholders to understand how to balance the security management landscape with enterprise operations. Created in the year, 1953, the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the Federal Government that focuses on providing resources for small businesses, in an effort to aid, counsel, assist, and protect all interests of business concerns. With the growing concern related to cyberattacks, we want to ensure that Small and Midsized Businesses (SMBs) have access to partners that can help them when it comes to growing and protecting their businesses.

Creating the Awareness

Interestingly, one of the common misconceptions that prevail amidst SMBs is that they are in some ways, impervious to cyberattacks, due to their size. This needs to be turned around, and we consider it our responsibility to ensure that awareness is spread amongst the SMBs; any company, regardless of size, is susceptible to cyberattacks. We are trying to convey this message through our resource partners, from SCORE, small business development centers (SBDC), women business centers, and many other strategic partners. Each of these entities is funded partially by the SBA in order to extend SMBs with the aid they require, free of cost. The course of each of these resource partners not only provides information for small businesses on cybersecurity, but essentially helps the business grow. SBA’s informative cybersecurity website gives out useful tips for SMBs, aiming to combat cyberattacks, in addition to providing a cybersecurity planner.

Oftentimes, small businesses believe that reaching out for costlier cybersecurity solutions is the better option; this is yet another misconception. Many entities that provide precise yet not extravagantly priced security solutions exist in the SMB arena. It is strongly recommended that small businesses checkout cybersecurity websites and obtain the awareness required, as lendors are also beginning to include cybersecurity with their loan application plans. The reason for this is simply that the lendors are not paid back for their loans, on the off chance that small businesses are hacked. It truly has a trickle-effect on all the intermediate layers, which stresses the need for strategic planning of generating awareness for SMBs.

The Rising Importance of Education

The need to educate the SMB market about the potential dangers associated with cyberthreats is ever-growing. It is strategic for entities like SBA to focus on ensuring that small businesses in the SMB arena are educated on a daily basis. Further, ensuring they are getting the appropriate tools in place to maintain integrity and privacy of data is also vital. Smaller businesses often feel less vulnerable to cyberattacks; therefore, the chances of them getting hacked and not knowing about it are very high. These cases present the need to put forth pearls of wisdom, with regard to the potential threats that exist in the arena. As different kinds of cyberthreats shape itself on a daily basis, the primary focus of any business must be to continue acquiring training on cybersecurity.

Small businesses thus need to keep an ear to the ground in order to keep up with current trends that are shaping the landscape. Obtaining cybersecurity equipment from outsourcing companies at a low cost is one useful step, to make their systems a little less susceptible to cyberattacks. This equipment has the capability to flow into the company network and notify the business owners when sensitive information has been compromised. Some companies also enable further capabilities like tracking.

In addition, SBA has 68 district offices in the nation that offer various kinds of training and mentoring to SMBs, by parting knowledge on how to steer clear of the devastation brought about by cyberattacks. As many resources are being provided by organizations, with the sole purpose of guiding various SMBs, it’s as great a time as ever to start integrating cybersecurity tools into systems. Organizations need to place more focus on enterprise security management, in order to generate a security management framework, so that they can create and sustain security for their critical infrastructure.

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