Articles

Florida SBDC at USF Offers New Cybersecurity Service for Small-Business Owners

By Stacey Dadd

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TAMPA (January 31, 2018) -- The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida now offers small-business owners a new cybersecurity service designed to provide a sound understanding of the risks of cyberattacks and common cyber threats.

The Byte-Size Small Business Cybersecurity Program also suggests strategies to safeguard businesses, customers, employees and profits.

Though small businesses may seem like an improbable target for cyberattacks, 43 percent of cyberattacks worldwide in 2016 targeted businesses with fewer than 250 employees, according to Symantec's 2016 Internet Security Threat Report.

"Cybersecurity has become an important business management tool for all businesses," Yanina Rosario, associate director at the local center, said. "The Byte-Size Small Business Cybersecurity Program shows business owners there are many steps they can take that are simple and easy to integrate into their businesses to protect themselves and clients."

The program, which has been implemented at centers across the state, offers training and consulting to help meet the challenges of doing business in cyberspace. The new program encompasses three major components: in-person workshops, online training and consulting.

The Cybersecurity Basics for Small Business workshops cover four topics: basic cybersecurity threats, why cybersecurity matters, cyber resources and best practices for cybersecurity and resiliency. The foundation for these workshops is a new in-depth cybersecurity resource guide, which offers business owners information and affiliated resources, to help meet the challenges of doing business in cyberspace.

At the local center, a seminar, scheduled for 8:30-11 a.m. on Feb. 16, will feature FBI Supervisory Special Agent Stacy Arruda who will discuss general cybercrime and how criminals use public information to create business chaos.

Professionally certified business consultants also work one-on-one with business owners to help address their individual needs. They also can assist business owners develop a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

The Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network of more than 40 centers designated as the state's principal provider of business assistance, also will produce a series of webinars for businesses.

The Florida SBDC Network recently partnered with Ridge Global, a globally recognized, risk-management cybersecurity firm, to launch the program statewide.

In alignment with its mission, the Florida SBDC Network works to help small businesses navigate common entrepreneurial pitfalls, thus yielding higher success rates and contributing positive economic growth for Florida's economy.

To register for the Tampa seminar, click here.