Small Business and Cybersecurity

Virtually any small business relies on technology and an Internet connection to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive, digital economy. Consequently, small businesses across the United States, who store financial and personal data on millions of Americans, present rich targets for hackers. As larger companies adopt more advanced cybersecurity, criminals are ramping up attacks on the smaller firms that do not prioritize data security or lack the resources to protect their digital assets. The direct and indirect costs of these attacks can threaten closure for some. Yet security in small businesses is not just a matter of economics, but also of national security. Many larger corporations, including defense contractors that hold highly sensitive data, contract with thousands of third party vendors. A sophisticated attacker can compromise these small businesses and exploit their trusted position to infiltrate far more heavily defended organizations. But small business development is fundamentally a state and local issue, and governors have a critical role in this space.