Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

12/17/2018
05:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Cyber Readiness Institute Launches New Program for SMBs

Program seeks to raise employees' cyber awareness and give small and midsize business owners the tools to make a difference.

The Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI) has formally launched a new program geared to help small and midsize businesses (SMBs) create cyber awareness at their companies.

This afternoon's launch, held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., featured a one-hour panel discussion on the role SMBs play in the supply chain, how important the security of SMBs are to the economy, and how everyone plays a role in cybersecurity today.

Kiersten Todt, executive director of CRI, said the program focuses on four areas: authentication, phishing, patching, and safer use of USBs.

"We also offer templates for companies to apply simple policies that anyone can understand and so that the SMBs don't have to spend additional resources," Todt said, adding that companies receive a certificate for completing the program.

In creating the Cyber Readiness Program, CRI held focus groups with SMBs in eight countries and a pilot with 19 SMBs worldwide. Some of the companies had as few as two employees, while others had close to 700.  

Why all the focus on SMBs?

The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 58% of data breach victims globally are SMBs. CRI has also found that many SMBs report doing very little to protect themselves because they lack the required resources, capabilities, and knowledge.

Valecia Maclin, general manager of engineering, customer security, and trust at Microsoft, said owners of SMBs always come to her and say they don't know what polices to develop or which tools to use – so there's a real need for this type of program.

"I like to stress our interconnectedness," Maclin said. "We're not going back from here, and we're only as strong as our weakest link … so I think we'll see a progression in security where many of these security functions will become automated and easy to use."

Behind the Scenes
Samuel J. Palmisano, retired president and CEO of IBM and current chairman of the Center for Global Enterprise, said the work on the Cyber Readiness Program dates back to President Barack Obama's Commission on Enhancing Cybersecurity.

The new CRI program is a first step that will help create a culture of hygiene across the country, Palmisano said. He stressed the importance of increasing awareness among the staff at SMBs because the vast majority of attacks stem from issues caused by employees – for example, a phishing email they may have clicked on inadvertently.

"It's proven that the vast majority of breaches can be counteracted by learning, education, and management processes," Palmisano said. "And if procurement people at an SMBs' major customer make it clear that they have to comply with the cyber readiness program, then that will bring a lot of people along. I think this is a very good time to do this because people are more aware of cybersecurity and privacy."

Ajay Banga, president and CEO of Mastercard and co-chair of CRI, added that encouraging companies in their supply chains to get certified by the cyber readiness program is one of the more important roles corporate sponsors can offer.

"Understand that this is going to be very hard," Banga said. "The first step is to get people to understand that there is a real issue and to raise the level of engagement. I think it will take a three- to four-year effort to change the nature of the dialogue."

Related Content:

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience and has covered networking, security, and IT as a writer and editor since 1992. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Former CISA Director Chris Krebs Discusses Risk Management & Threat Intel
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/23/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
Security + Fraud Protection: Your One-Two Punch Against Cyberattacks
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  2/23/2021
News
Cybercrime Groups More Prolific, Focus on Healthcare in 2020
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/22/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Building the SOC of the Future
Building the SOC of the Future
Digital transformation, cloud-focused attacks, and a worldwide pandemic. The past year has changed the way business works and the way security teams operate. There is no going back.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-23347
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-03
The package github.com/argoproj/argo-cd/cmd before 1.7.13, from 1.8.0 and before 1.8.6 are vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting (XSS) the SSO provider connected to Argo CD would have to send back a malicious error message containing JavaScript to the user.
CVE-2021-25315
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-03
A Incorrect Implementation of Authentication Algorithm vulnerability in of SUSE SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP 3; openSUSE Tumbleweed allows local attackers to execute arbitrary code via salt without the need to specify valid credentials. This issue affects: SUSE SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 ...
CVE-2021-27921
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-03
Pillow before 8.1.1 allows attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) because the reported size of a contained image is not properly checked for a BLP container, and thus an attempted memory allocation can be very large.
CVE-2021-27922
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-03
Pillow before 8.1.1 allows attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) because the reported size of a contained image is not properly checked for an ICNS container, and thus an attempted memory allocation can be very large.
CVE-2021-27923
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-03
Pillow before 8.1.1 allows attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) because the reported size of a contained image is not properly checked for an ICO container, and thus an attempted memory allocation can be very large.