Cybersecurity 101 for business encourages a proactive approach | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


By University Communications

HAYS, Kan. – The Kansas Small Business Development Center’s first cybersecurity conference brought business owners and employees to the FHSU campus to learn the importance of protecting their digital assets. Speakers from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Tree Top Security, Nex-Tech, FHSU, the U.S. SBA, and USD 489 stressed a proactive approach to cybersecurity. FHSU’s Cybersecurity Institute and Technology Incubator (CITI) assisted in the planning and execution of the conference.

Seventy-five attendees participated in sessions that focused on the cyber threat landscape, planning for the worst, and actionable steps to take today, among other topics.

“We are thrilled to have been able to offer this quality of event to educate our business community about the latest trends in cybersecurity risks and what they need to do to protect themselves,” said Laurie Pieper, assistant state director of Kansas SBDC. “This was a unique opportunity for our businesses to learn from the FBI and CISA while also connecting with local experts.”

The conference focused on real-life examples to help business owners and support staff learn more about cybersecurity, enabling an understanding of the importance of risk mitigation and actionable steps.

One of these came from Chris Hipp, assistant superintendent of USD 489, spoke in a morning session about the urgency of taking cybersecurity seriously. USD 489 experienced a cyber-attack in January of 2022.

“We learned very quickly why we should have cared more about cybersecurity sooner” Hipp said. “Cybersecurity is more far-reaching than you might think,” he said. “It’s not just a desktop machine that you’re putting a spreadsheet into. It’s everything that you do.”

USD 489 worked with a cyber response team, cyber forensics team, cyber hostage negotiator, Tree Top Security, and FBI to respond to the attack.

“It was almost surreal dealing with all the different team members that our insurance coverage had put in place,” he said. “We found out it’s important to play a little bit of offense to avoid having to play a whole lot of clean up on the backside.”

Attendees also heard about cases encountered by local resources as well as by the FBI and DHS’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, and how to work with resources to prevent, and if needed, take whatever steps are possible to mitigate an event. With the likelihood of a small business shuttering within 6 months of a security breach, the importance of prevention was emphasized.


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National Cyber Security