Tuesday, October 06, 2015
SBA Empowers Small Businesses to Be Cyber Safe
The U.S. Small Business Administration unveiled today a new cybersecurity webpage for small businesses at www.sba.gov/cybersecurity on the 12th Anniversary of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The SBA launched the online tools and resources to highlight Cybersecurity at Work from October 5-9th and in recognition of President Obama’s annual proclamation to educate Americans about cyberthreats and cybersafety.
“Cybersecurity is one of our nation’s most pressing national security priorities, and America’s 28 million small businesses, which create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., are especially at risk. Small employers are quickly becoming a larger target for criminals looking to access sensitive data because small businesses typically have limited resources for information systems security,”said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “In an effort to combat cyberattacks against small businesses, the SBA’s online tools will help employers identify information security vulnerabilities that put their companies at risk.”
A 2013 survey by the National Small Business Association indicates that 44 percent of small businesses reported being the victim of a cyberattack, with an average cost of approximately $9,000 per attack. Small businesses have valuable information cybercriminals seek, including employee and customer data, bank account information, access to business finances, and intellectual property. Small business employers also provide access to larger networks such as supply chains.
The SBA cybersecurity webpage is a resource for small business owners to discover online courses, training opportunities, blogs and webinars, as well as learn cybersecurity information tips, including how to:
· Protect against viruses, spyware and other malicious code;
· Educate employees about cyberthreats;
· Safeguard Internet connections by using a firewall and encrypting information;
· Use best practices on payment cards, including shifting to more secure credit card payment technology known as “EMV.”
The website at www.sba.gov/cybersecurity also includes key steps to take if a firm is the victim of a cybersecurity attack, as well as links to tools from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.