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CyberWisdom Safe Harbor Commentary on Protect the cybersecurity of small businesses and their consumers
A must read story from calls out on protecting the cybersecurity of small businesses and their consumers. Imagine this is your early days. About the time you go home, you open your laptop, log in to your bank account and be shocked to see the balance of your small business: zero. You never thought it would be you. Of course, millions of online banking users, you will never be targeted.
Unfortunately, we see this more often in today’s world of hyperconnects. As Chairman of the Small Business Committee of the House Committee, I heard over and over again the extent of the cyberattack damage to businesses, owners, employees and customers.
With online sales, small businesses can reduce costs, increase sales and improve overall efficiency. However, the same tools and resources that empower small business owners to play a bigger role in the market also provide cybercriminals and foreign actors with more opportunities to steal sensitive and valuable information.
This is unacceptable.
According to a recent survey by the National Association of Small Business, 32,000 U.S. dollars – the average cost of cyberattacking small businesses. According to Verizon’s report, 71% of cyber attacks target fewer than 100 people. This is a start-up company, mom and pop store, most vulnerable to Internet abuse.
The committee that I chair has held several hearings on the role of the government in protecting small businesses from cyber-attacks. More than 47% of private-sector employees are the backbone of the U.S. economy and can not be ignored in cyber-security dialogue.
One thing is clear: We need to do more to protect the cybersecurity of small businesses and their consumers.
Cybersecurity of small businesses and their consumers Partnership
Although we must address this need in time in Congress, the partnership between the government and small businesses needs to be strengthened. It is essential that entrepreneurs ensure that their systems and servers are protected by domestic and foreign attacks. They are often the target because they have no resources or staff at large companies to protect their assets and customers.
At a recent hearing, representatives from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security emphasized the importance of protecting small business infrastructures because of the recent revelations that potentially malicious foreign-owned firms have access to millions of small businesses ‘data. Aware of these fears, I introduced the two-party H.R. 4668, Advanced Cyber Security Enhancement Act for Small Business, to increase the defensive measures that these start-ups have against foreign attacks.
In the ideological war, innovators also need to protect their own intellectual property. Because these startups do not have room for extravagant lawyers and advisors’ boards, they need to know more about protecting company information. One possible solution is cybersecurity. As cyber attacks have increased, large companies are already embracing this tactic – many small businesses are starting to follow suit.
Last year, the House of Representatives passed the Act to Improve Cybersecurity in Small Business, which helps small businesses face cyberthreats by providing other tools and resources available through existing federal agencies. DHS and other federal agencies are able to work with Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to provide resources for small businesses.
More than ever before, the cyber security of innovators and small businesses in our country needs to be prioritized. Their ingenuity and courage are the reasons for the strong US economy.
Read More…
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