Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and voice for America’s 33 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced that the agency will host a free, virtual National Cyber Summit on Oct. 26, 2022. This cybersecurity forum, a first for the agency, will help introduce American small businesses to tools, tips, and resources to bolster their cybersecurity infrastructure in addition to exploring new trends and challenges entrepreneurs are increasingly facing.
“America’s small businesses are pivoting to digital technologies and online strategies at historic rates to reach new customers and improve operational efficiencies, but that pivot has also exposed them to significant new threats from cyberattacks,” said SBA Administrator Guzman. “Our SBA team has mobilized to support them against these potentially disruptive threats with cybersecurity resources and trainings across our resource partner networks, as well as through our recently launched Small Business Digital Alliance. Launching the SBA’s first annual Cybersecurity Summit will help us build on that work and ensure America’s 33 million small businesses and innovative startups can pivot safely online and grow resilient businesses.”
“We are energized to bring actual solutions to the table for America’s small businesses, which continue to inspire us all with hope and resilience,” said SBA Associate Administrator of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid.
“As our small businesses pivot more and more into cyber space to expand their market, we want to ensure that they connect effectively and safely,” said Regional Administrator Marlene Cintron. “This is a timely and responsive effort for businesses trying to regain and improve market share.”
The summit comes on the heels of the recently announced awardees for the SBA’s new pilot program created to help emerging small businesses steel themselves against cyber-attacks.
Registration for the event is open to all and free. Sign up online HERE.
About the SBA’s Inaugural Small Business Cyber Summit
The inaugural summit will feature various speakers, including SBA Administrator Guzman, SBA Associate Administrator Madrid, SBA Resource Partners, Small Business Development Centers, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), FBI, business chambers, state government partners, experts from the public/private sectors, major technology platforms, and award-winning business coaches.
Comprised of digestible and compact segments, attendees will have the opportunity to network and access practical tips, problem-solving strategies, industry trends, threat avoidance, and small business testimonials in order to learn how to help small business owners defend themselves against cyber-attacks.
About the Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program
Cyberattacks are a growing threat to small businesses and the U.S. economy. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes against the small business community reached $2.4 billion in 2021.
Small businesses are attractive targets because they have information that cybercriminals want, and they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses.
According to a SBA survey, 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyberattack. Yet many businesses cannot afford professional IT solutions, have limited time to devote to cybersecurity, or do not know where to begin.
The federal budget for the Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program for 2021-2022 is $3,000,000. SBA awarded three awards, with no single award exceeding $1 million. The period of performance for this award is one-year (12 months).
To register for this free summit, please visit here.