LEWISBURG — With the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Bucknell University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) announced the launch of a series of workshops, services and informational resources to educate the region’s small business owners and employees about the growing risk of cyber attacks.
“Each day, Pennsylvania small businesses face destructive cyberattacks; ranging from malware, ransomware, phishing, credential thefts and more,” Steven Stumbris, director of SBDC, was quoted in a press release. “Last year, almost half of all cyberattacks targeted small businesses, and two out of every three small businesses hit by a cyberattack will close within a few months of the disruption.”
On Oct. 27, SBDC will debut its Small Business Cybersecurity Initiative with a workshop designed to help businesses identify cybersecurity risks, access resources to help them avoid critical impacts and connect with resources to help them develop their defenses. The event will feature experts such as Bucknell University’s Chief Information Security Office Chris Bernard addressing topics as retail security, data breaches and numerous tactical cybersecurity considerations for small enterprises — plus, a hands-on interactive “hack station” from MePush, a regional technology services firm.
Threats from cyberattack
Cybersecurity costs continue to grow for businesses. Ransomware damage costs are predicted to exceed $5 billion in 2017, a 15-times increase in two years. Cybersecurity spending is expected to exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021, and the financial hit from theft of intellectual property ranges from 1 percent to 3 percent of the U.S. GDP.
“For business leaders, the SBDC’s cybersecurity services are an opportunity to ensure that they are responsive to the needs of their customers and to position their firms as industry leaders,” SBDC Business Consultant Reed Byrum said, “By collaborating with the SBDC and regional partners in this initiative, businesses can become more resistant to cyber threats and continue to thrive.”
The SBDC “Small Business: Big Risk! Cybersecurity for Business Owners and Employees” event on Oct. 27 will take place between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. in the center room of the Elaine Langone Center on the Bucknell University campus. The room will be open from 8 a.m. until noon for special pre-event and post-event networking and hands-on exhibitions. Cost is $49 — payable by credit card or personal check — and attendees can remit a check payable to Bucknell SBDC, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg 17837. Registration is available online at www.bucknell.edu/SBDCevents.