New FTC Small Business Online Resources
Small businesses now have an online resource center, provided by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that focuses on cybersecurity tips and advice. The FTC has two primary focuses 1) protect consumers and 2) promote competition. Strong cybersecurity measures adhered to by small businesses can help do both. The FTC collaborated with the U. S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards (NIST), U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the development of these resources for small businesses.
The information center was launched in October, 2018 and resources include key information, guides for businesses, quizzes that can be used as part of employee training, materials that can be downloaded, plus a few videos. The introduction page is easy to navigate and takes the viewer to specific topics such as:
· Cybersecurity Basics
· Understanding the NIST Cybersecurity Framework
· Physical Security
· Business Email Imposters
· Tech Support Scams
· Vendor Security
· Cyber Insurance
· Email Authentication
· Hiring a Web Host
· Securing Remote Access
What is very helpful is each topic on the site includes key categories of information for quick reading and reference. Categories include what the topic is/how it occurs, how to protect your business, and what to do if you are attacked/impacted.
The federal government provides additional cybersecurity information for small businesses at these sites:
· SBA: Managing a business>cybersecurity
· Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
· DHS: Stop. Think. Connect. Small Business Resources
· NIST: Small Business Information Security
· U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team: Cybersecurity Resources Road Map
What your business can do
· Read the information provided on each topic so you have current information on threats and protections.
· Download the PDF documents (about 24 pages) and share the content at staff meetings and with your partners such as your IT consultant, legal partner and vendors.
· Share the videos at staff training sessions on cybersecurity. Everyone needs frequent reminders on the threats and how they change.
· Bookmark the site for future visits. The FTC provides blogs and updates periodically.
About the Author - Carolyn Schrader is a seasoned cybersecurity professional and founder of the Cyber Security Group Inc., providing corporate cybersecurity services to high profile clients.