23 May Cybersecurity comes to Main Street Businesses
The US Senate Commerce Committee has (April 2017) advanced a bill to help small and medium businesses (SMB) protect themselves from cyber-threats. The bill, titled the MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act, would require NIST (National Institutes of Standards and Technology) to booster resources available to the SMB that choose to implement the Institute’s Cybersecurity Framework.
Why is this bipartisan effort such a welcomed advancement in fight against cyber-crime? The bill is a potential game changer for the SMB space. However, the bill itself doesn’t add the protections or implement the risk strategies SMB desperately need.
Well over half of all cyber-attacks target the SMB, with nearly 60% of businesses going out of business in six months after experiencing a breach. The potential cost of doing nothing, for both the business owners, their employees and the national economy, are too great to delay assessing the risk their organization faces. Certainly, cyber-criminals are not waiting for the bill to be enacted, or for the SMB to begin mitigating their cyber-related risk. Main Street businesses cannot afford to wait for the government to act, and should begin addressing cyber-threats today.
The current NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), born out of The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 (15 U.S.C. 7421), is a public-private partnership to reduce cybersecurity risks to critical infrastructure. This will likely be the underpinning for the eventual work that NIST completes for small and medium businesses.
Harbor Technology Group has taken the current NIST CSF and specifically tailored it for the SMB. Essentially, Harbor is offering a way for the SMB to mitigate the cyber-threats today the MAIN STREET bill looks to address in the future. Through Harbor’s cybersecurity risk assessment or CISO as a Service offerings, Harbor’s SMB clients have been able to implement protective controls, processes and procedures that put the SMB well ahead of the curve. Ultimately, protecting their businesses.