According to an October 2017 report from UPS Capital, cyberattacks cost small businesses between $84,000 and $148,000; and 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of an attack.

Far too often a large national company is in the news for having sensitive information hacked through the internet. Of course, those are just the ones that make headlines. Nearly two-thirds of cyber breach victims are small to mid-size businesses. What’s more, 55 percent of small businesses reported at least one data breach in the previous year. But yet, many entrepreneurs and small business owners still question the need for cybersecurity with 90 percent not using any form of data protection for company or customer information.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) says it is time to make small business owners cyber aware, and more importantly give them a plan to reduce their chances of cyberattack.

According to an October 2017 report from UPS Capital, cyberattacks cost small businesses between $84,000 and $148,000; and 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of an attack.

LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said the LSBDC’s role is to help grow small businesses.

“What better return on time invested than to help our clients do their best to avoid those terrible growth-stunting (or stopping) consequences,” Kessler said.

The LSBDC partnered with BALLAST, a company that helps businesses fight cybercrime, protect data and reduce security risk, to host a statewide roadshow called “Small Business, Big Threat: Cybersecurity and your business” for entrepreneurs and small business leaders to learn how to prepare for and protect against cyber security issues. Business owners will be provided information on how to comply with regulations such as: HIPAA for healthcare, PCI for credit card payments, and FERPA for educational providers.

LSBDC Marketing & Media Manager DeRon Talley said the SBDC always looks to partner with industry experts to bring the best information available to Louisiana small business owners and entrepreneurs.

“Especially in topics like cyber security because many of us are still learning what it is and how it works,” Talley said. “Unfortunately, most of us are finding out about cyber security after we’ve been victim to an online hack or breech.”

The roadshow will begin during the last week of September and roll into the month of October, which is designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. NCASM is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats.

The schedule for the roadshow is as follows:

October 9, Hammond, La.: Event will be located at the Southeast Louisiana Business Center. 1514 Martens Drive, Hammond, La. 70402 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register online here.

October 10, New Orleans, La.: Event will be located at Xavier University, Convocation Center Annex – Room 111, 3774 Fern Street, New Orleans, La. 70125 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Register online here.

October 11, Baton Rouge, La.: Event will be located at the LSBDC at Southern University, 616 Harding Boulevard, Baton Rouge, La. 70807 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register online here.

Contributed by LSBDC